Insights into saline intrusion and freshwater resources in coastal karstic aquifers using a lumped Rainfall―Discharge―Salinity model (the Port-Miou brackish spring, SE France)

Abstract : The aim of this study was to develop a conceptual model of saline intrusion within coastal karst aquifers by analyzing Rainfall–Discharge–Salinity data and to assess freshwater resources using a lumped modeling approach. In a first step, we analyzed 4 years of data (rainfall, discharge and salinity times series) of the Port-Miou brackish submarine spring in South France (400 km2). A conceptual model of the aquifer was then designed to differentiate a deep brackish reservoir and a shallower fresh one. Salinity variations at the spring are assumed to be controlled mainly by dilution originating from the fresh water in the shallower reservoir. In a second step, a lumped modeling approach was developed based on the conceptual model to simulate discharge as well as salinity over time. We proposed a reservoir-model to take into account slow and fast components in the shallower part of the aquifer and a saline intrusion in the deeper one. This Rainfall–Discharge–Salinity model was calibrated and validated for two periods of 1.5 years at a daily time step and was also tested to reproduce a multi-annual evolution of the available discharge and salinity time series. Good simulation results were obtained to reproduce water and mass budgets as well as discharge and salinity dynamics during several hydrological cycles. The simultaneous modeling of hydrodynamics and quality data showed the robustness of the model in addition to its easy implementation. Our results led us to propose a new type of seawater mixing mechanism for brackish springs: the dilution type, in addition to the well-known Ventury suction and Head balance types. The application of the lumped model on the Port-Miou brackish spring validated the hydrogeological processes deduced from experimental data, given an initial quantification of the freshwater resources available in such complex brackish karstic aquifers.
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Bruno Arfib, Jean-Baptiste Charlier. Insights into saline intrusion and freshwater resources in coastal karstic aquifers using a lumped Rainfall―Discharge―Salinity model (the Port-Miou brackish spring, SE France). Journal of Hydrology, Elsevier, 2016, 540, pp.148--161. ⟨10.1016/j.jhydrol.2016.06.010⟩. ⟨hal-01458114⟩

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