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

Coastal Aquifer Salinization in Semi-Arid Regions: The Case of Grombalia (Tunisia)

1
Laboratory of Radio-Analyses and Environment, National School of Engineers of Sfax, BP1173, Sfax 3038, Tunisia
2
Department of Molecular Sciences and Nanosystems, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Via Torino 155, 30170 Venezia-Mestre, Italy
3
Earth Sciences Department, University of Pisa, Via Santa Maria, 53, 56126 Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2021, 13(2), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020129
Received: 24 November 2020 / Revised: 24 December 2020 / Accepted: 31 December 2020 / Published: 8 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Focus on the Salinization Issue in the Mediterranean Area)
Groundwater resources are facing increasing pressure especially in semi-arid regions where they often represent the main freshwater resource to sustain human needs. Several aquifers in the Mediterranean basin suffer from salinization and quality degradation. This study provides an assessment of Grombalia coastal aquifer (Tunisia) based on multidisciplinary approach that combines chemical and isotopic (δ2H, δ18O, 3H, 14C and δ13C) methods to characterize the relation between groundwater quality variation and aquifer recharge. The results indicate that total dissolved solids exceed 1000 mg/L in the most of samples excepting the recharge area. In addition to water–rock interaction, evaporation and nitrate pollution contributing to groundwater mineralization, the reverse cation exchange process constitute an important mechanism controlling groundwater mineralization with enhancing risk of saltwater intrusion. Environmental isotope tracers reveal that groundwater is evolving within an open system to close system. A significant component of recent water that is recharging Grombalia aquifer system is confirmed by applying correction models based on the δ13C values and 14C activities and tritium contents. However, this recharge, which is mainly associated to the return flow of irrigation water, contributes to the groundwater salinization, especially for the shallow aquifer. View Full-Text
Keywords: groundwater; mineralization; water–rock interactions; cation exchange process; isotopes; aquifer recharge groundwater; mineralization; water–rock interactions; cation exchange process; isotopes; aquifer recharge
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kammoun, S.; Trabelsi, R.; Re, V.; Zouari, K. Coastal Aquifer Salinization in Semi-Arid Regions: The Case of Grombalia (Tunisia). Water 2021, 13, 129. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020129

AMA Style

Kammoun S, Trabelsi R, Re V, Zouari K. Coastal Aquifer Salinization in Semi-Arid Regions: The Case of Grombalia (Tunisia). Water. 2021; 13(2):129. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020129

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kammoun, Siwar; Trabelsi, Rim; Re, Viviana; Zouari, Kamel. 2021. "Coastal Aquifer Salinization in Semi-Arid Regions: The Case of Grombalia (Tunisia)" Water 13, no. 2: 129. https://doi.org/10.3390/w13020129

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