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Review

The Issue of Groundwater Salinization in Coastal Areas of the Mediterranean Region: A Review

1
Department of Environmental, Biological and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technologies, Campania University “Vanvitelli”, 81100 Caserta, Italy
2
Department of Materials, Environmental Sciences and Urban Planning, Polytechnic University of Marche, 60131 Ancona, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2021, 13(1), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13010090
Received: 29 October 2020 / Revised: 29 December 2020 / Accepted: 30 December 2020 / Published: 4 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Focus on the Salinization Issue in the Mediterranean Area)
The Mediterranean area is undergoing intensive demographic, social, cultural, economic, and environmental changes. This generates multiple environmental pressures such as increased demand for water resources, generation of pollution related to wastewater discharge, and land consumption. In the Mediterranean area, recent climate change studies forecast large impacts on the hydrologic cycle. Thus, in the next years, surface and ground-water resources will be gradually more stressed, especially in coastal areas. In this review paper, the historical and geographical distribution of peer-review studies and the main mechanisms that promote aquifer salinization in the Mediterranean area are critically discussed, providing the state of the art on topics such as actual saltwater wedge characterization, paleo-salinities in coastal areas, water-rock interactions, geophysical techniques aimed at delineating the areal and vertical extent of saltwater intrusion, management of groundwater overexploitation using numerical models and GIS mapping techniques for aquifer vulnerability to salinization. Each of the above-mentioned approaches has potential advantages and drawbacks; thus, the best tactic to tackle coastal aquifer management is to employ a combination of approaches. Finally, the number of studies focusing on predictions of climate change effects on coastal aquifers are growing but are still very limited and surely need further research. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal aquifer; climate change impacts; characterization methods; salinization origin; prediction scenarios coastal aquifer; climate change impacts; characterization methods; salinization origin; prediction scenarios
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mastrocicco, M.; Colombani, N. The Issue of Groundwater Salinization in Coastal Areas of the Mediterranean Region: A Review. Water 2021, 13, 90. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13010090

AMA Style

Mastrocicco M, Colombani N. The Issue of Groundwater Salinization in Coastal Areas of the Mediterranean Region: A Review. Water. 2021; 13(1):90. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13010090

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mastrocicco, Micòl; Colombani, Nicolò. 2021. "The Issue of Groundwater Salinization in Coastal Areas of the Mediterranean Region: A Review" Water 13, no. 1: 90. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13010090

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