Groundwater on small coral islands exists in the form of freshwater lenses that serve as an important water resource for local inhabitants and ecosystems. These lenses are vulnerable to salinization due to groundwater abstraction and precipitation variation. Determination of the sustainable yield from freshwater lenses is challenging because the uncertainties of recharge and hydrogeological characteristics make it difficult to predict the lens response to long-term pumping. In this study, nine pumping well layout schemes along a line are designed using the orthogonal experimental design method, and an optimal well layout scheme is determined by multi-index range analysis and comprehensive balance analysis method. The total critical pumping rates of the freshwater lens corresponding to different schemes are calculated by numerical simulation, and the sensitivity of the total critical pumping rates to hydrogeological parameters is analyzed. The results show that the calculation of the total critical pumping rates needs to be combined with the specific well layout scheme with consideration to the length of well screens, the number of wells and the distance between wells. The difference in total critical pumping rates between different schemes can be up to three times. The uncertainty of hydrogeological parameters has a great impact on the total critical pumping rates. Within the range of a 30% reduction in parameters, α
are the key risk factors of pumping; within the range of a 30% increase in parameters, α
are the key risk factors; α
combined changes had the greatest impact. The management of freshwater lenses and the assessment of sustainable yield will continue to be important tasks for coral islands in the future, and this study can help with the sustainable exploitation of island freshwater lenses.
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