WRRC Affiliate Faculty Clifford Voss and colleagues recently published “Effect of Flow-Direction-Dependent Dispersivity on Seawater Intrusion in Coastal Aquifers” in Water Resources Research. The article describes an approach that has been used in the USGS SUTRA code (variable-density groundwater flow and solute or energy transport simulation) for modeling of Hawaiian aquifers since the 1990s, and for modeling of other aquifer systems worldwide. This approach improves the way that subsurface mixing of freshwater and saltwater is represented compared with the standard flow-direction-independent approach used by all other numerical models. Although this flow-direction-dependent dispersivity approach has always been used in the SUTRA code, there has never before been a comparison published that compares seawater intrusion results for this and the standard approach to representing dispersion in coastal aquifers. This improved representation of subsurface mixing can make a big difference in model forecasts of seawater intrusion, salinization of coastal wells, and optimal aquifer management plans based on hydrogeologic modeling results.
View article at: Water Resources Research, July 2022, 58(8), https://doi.org/10.1029/2022WR032315