Special Issue "Seawater Intrusion: Simulation and Control"
A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (22 January 2018)
Groundwater is a major source of water supply. In coastal zones there exist hydraulic exchanges between fresh groundwater and seawater. They are slow in ''natural conditions'' and thus are often forgotten and replaced by a quasi-equilibrium between two fluid layers (Ghyben--Herzberg assumptions). The picture fails in case of more drastic conditions due for instance to meteorological events or to human interventions. Intensive extraction of freshwater leads for instance to local water table depression causing problems of saltwater intrusion in the aquifer. We thus need efficient and accurate models to simulate the displacement of salt water front in coastal aquifer for the optimal exploitation of fresh groundwater. The existing models for seawater intrusion may be classified in three categories: The first one corresponds to the diffuse interface approach. This is the physically correct approach. Fresh and salt water are two miscible fluids. Due to density contrast they tend to separate into two layers with a transition zone characterized by the variations of the salt concentration. This approach is heavy from theoretical and numerical point of view. The second approach, called 'Sharp interface approach', is based on the hypothesis that the two fluids are immiscible. Moreover the domains occupied by each fluid are assumed to be separated by a smooth interface, no mass transfert occurs between the fresh and the salt area and capillary pressure's type effects are neglected. This approximation is often reasonable. Of course, this type of model does not describe the behavior of the real transition zone but give informations concerning the movement of the saltwater front. The other price to pay for this simplified approach is the numerical handling of free interfaces. In the third approach, this abrupt interface approach is mixed with a phase field approach, thus reinjecting in a new way the realism of diffuse interfaces models. It thus combines the advantage of respecting the physics of the problem and that of the computational efficiency. The mathematical difficulty of the analysis of the free interfaces is compensated by an upscaling procedure which allows to model the three-dimensional problem by a system of partial differential equations set in a two-dimensional domain. The aim and scope of this Special Issue is to provide relevant numerical studies derived from above approaches to provide efficient and accurate modeling of the evolution of the saltwater front in coastal aquifers in realistic situations.
Prof. Carole Rosier
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- seawater intrusion problem
- numerical modeling
- mathematical modeling