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Water 2014, 6(12), 3671-3700; doi:10.3390/w6123671

Impacts of Future Climate Change and Baltic Sea Level Rise on Groundwater Recharge, Groundwater Levels, and Surface Leakage in the Hanko Aquifer in Southern Finland

1
Geological Survey of Finland, P.O.Box 96, Espoo FI-02151, Finland
2
Geological Survey of Finland, P.O.Box 97, Kokkola FI-67101, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 September 2014 / Revised: 5 November 2014 / Accepted: 20 November 2014 / Published: 28 November 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Surface Water Groundwater Interactions: From Theory to Practice)
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Abstract

The impact of climate change and Baltic Sea level rise on groundwater resources in a shallow, unconfined, low-lying coastal aquifer in Hanko, southern Finland, was assessed using the UZF1 model package coupled with the three-dimensional groundwater flow model MODFLOW to simulate flow from the unsaturated zone through the aquifer. The snow and PET models were used to calculate the surface water availability for infiltration from the precipitation data used in UZF1. Infiltration rate, flow in the unsaturated zone and groundwater recharge were then simulated using UZF1. The simulation data from climate and sea level rise scenarios were compared with present data. The results indicated changes in recharge pattern during 2071–2100, with recharge occurring earlier in winter and early spring. The seasonal impacts of climate change on groundwater recharge were more significant, with surface overflow resulting in flooding during winter and early spring and drought during summer. Rising sea level would cause some parts of the aquifer to be under sea level, compromising groundwater quality due to intrusion of sea water. This, together with increased groundwater recharge, would raise groundwater levels and consequently contribute more surface leakage and potential flooding in the low-lying aquifer. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater modelling; climate change impacts; unsaturated zone; groundwater recharge; low-lying aquifer/coastal aquifer groundwater modelling; climate change impacts; unsaturated zone; groundwater recharge; low-lying aquifer/coastal aquifer
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Luoma, S.; Okkonen, J. Impacts of Future Climate Change and Baltic Sea Level Rise on Groundwater Recharge, Groundwater Levels, and Surface Leakage in the Hanko Aquifer in Southern Finland. Water 2014, 6, 3671-3700.

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