Salt release from dredger filling sediment is a significant threat to freshwater resources in coastal regions around the world. This study focuses on the estimation of the field-scale salt-release process from the low-permeability sediment–water interface under different hydrological and hydrodynamic conditions. In situ sampling tests and physical experiments were implemented to calculate hydrogeological parameters and monitor sediment and water salinity. Numerical modeling was used to calibrate the molecular diffusion coefficient, of which the correlation coefficient was over 0.9, and explore the salt-release process across the sediment–water interface in Yuehu Lake, China. Furthermore, we discuss the influence of hydrologic conditions in terms of the lake stage and hydrodynamic conditions with water-exchange on the process of salt exchange between the sediment and water based on numerical simulations. Our findings showed that water-exchange accelerated the process of salt release from the sediment and maintained a relatively low salinity in the surface water. The salt-release rate decreased gradually as the concentration gradient between the water and sediment decreased. A frequency of water-exchange of 90 d maintained a rapid salt-release rate with fewer water-exchange steps. The influence of the lake stage was weak on the salt-release process at low-permeability area and salt release was not impeded before the salt capacity of water reached the maximum value. When the water–sediment salinity reached equilibrium, the salt-release process between the water and sediment equilibrated as the supply from the lower layers equaled the release to the water at the interface. These results are important in regard to controlling surface water salinization in coastal reclamation areas.
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