To date, there has been no agreement on the best way to simulate saltwater intrusion (SWI) in karst aquifers. An equivalent porous medium (EPM) is usually assumed without justification of its applicability. In this paper, SWI in a poorly karstified aquifer in Lebanon is simulated in various ways and compared to measurements. Time series analysis of rainfall and aquifer response is recommended to decide whether quickflow through conduits can be safely ignored. This aids in justifying the selection of the exemplified EPM model. To examine the improvement of SWI representation when discrete features (DFs) are embedded in the model domain, the results of a coupled discrete-continuum (CDC) approach (a hybrid EPM-DF approach) are compared to the EPM model. The two approaches yielded reasonable patterns of hydraulic head and groundwater salinity, which seem trustworthy enough for management purposes. The CDC model also reproduced some local anomalous chloride patterns, being more adaptable with respect to the measurements. It improved the overall accuracy of salinity predictions at wells and better represented the fresh–brackish water interface. Therefore, the CDC approach can be beneficial in modeling SWI in poorly karstified aquifers, and should be compared with the results of the EPM method to decide whether the differences in the outcome at local scale warrant its (more complicated) application. The simulation utilized the SEAWAT code since it is density dependent and public domain, and it enjoys widespread application. Including DFs necessitated manual handling because the selected code has no built-in option for such features.
|Translated title of the contribution||Simulation of saltwater intrusion in a poorly karstified coastal aquifer in Lebanon (Eastern Mediterranean)|
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|
- CDC approach
- Numerical modeling