The effectiveness of cutoff walls to control saltwater intrusion in multi-layered coastal aquifers: Experimental and numerical study

Antoifi Abdoulhalik, Ashraf A. Ahmed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)
397 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The objective of this study was to examine the performance of cutoff walls in controlling saltwater intrusion in stratified heterogeneous coastal aquifers. Numerical and laboratory experiments were completed in laboratory-scale aquifer where the effectiveness of cutoff walls was assessed in three different configurations, including a homogeneous scenario, a stratified aquifer with high K–low K–high K pattern (case HLH) and another stratified aquifer with low K–high K–low K pattern (case LHL). The results show that the cutoff wall was effective in reducing the saltwater wedge in all the investigated cases of layered-aquifers with toe length reduction of up to 43%. The wall exhibited more wedge reduction in shallower than steeper hydraulic gradients. However, the soil stratification appeared to lessen the overall performance of the wall compared to the homogeneous case. The aquifer stratification disrupted the flow dynamics, and thus affected the freshwater velocity at the wall opening to various degrees, depending on the layering pattern. The presence of an interlayer of low k (case HLH) inhibited the downward movement of the freshwater towards the wall opening, and thus decreasing the repulsion ability of the wall. Moreover, the presence of an underlying low permeability layer (case LHL) was found to obstruct the freshwater flow in the lower part of the aquifer, thereby slowing down the velocity through the wall opening. Numerical analysis of other layering patterns of monotonically increasing/decreasing permeability from top to bottom showed that the cutoff wall remained effective in repulsing the seawater wedge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-72
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume199
Early online date11 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2017

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The effectiveness of cutoff walls to control saltwater intrusion in multi-layered coastal aquifers: Experimental and numerical study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this