In this study, a coastal area constituted by alternations of saline-brackish lagoons and freshwater bodies was studied and modelled to understand the hydrological processes occurring between the lagoons, the groundwater system of the Po River Delta (Italy) and the Adriatic Sea. The contribution of both evaporation and anthropogenic factors on groundwater salinization was assessed by means of soil, groundwater and surface water monitoring. Highresolution multi-level samplers were used to capture salinity gradients within the aquifer and surface water bodies. Data were employed to calibrate a density-dependent numerical transport model implemented with SEAWAT code along a transect perpendicular to the coast line. The results show that the lagoon is hydraulically well connected with the aquifer, which provides the major source of salinity because of the upcoming of paleo-seawater from the aquitard laying at the base of the unconfined aquifer. On the contrary, the seawater (diluted by the freshwater river outflow) creates only a limited saltwater wedge. The increase in groundwater salinity could be of serious concern, especially for the pinewood located in the dune near the coast, sensitive to salinity increases. This case study represents an interesting paradigm for other similar environmental setting, where the assumption of classical aquifer salinization from a saltwater wedge intruding from the sea is often not representative of the actual aquifer's salinization mechanisms.
|Titolo:||Modelling the salinization of a coastal lagoon-aquifer system|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|