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Water 2017, 9(10), 788; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9100788

Saltwater Intrusion and Freshwater Storage in Sand Sediments along the Coastline: Hydrogeological Investigations and Groundwater Modeling of Nauru Island

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile Ambientale, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza L. da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy
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Received: 6 August 2017 / Revised: 4 October 2017 / Accepted: 9 October 2017 / Published: 13 October 2017
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Abstract

Water resources sustainable management is a vital issue for small islands where groundwater is often the only available water resource. Nauru is an isolated and uplifted limestone atoll island located in the Pacific Ocean. Politecnico di Milano performed a feasibility study for the development of sustainable use of groundwater on the island. This paper focuses on the first phase of the study that concerns the conceptual site model development, the hydrogeological characterization and the 2D model implementation. During the project, different activities were performed such as GNSS topographic survey of monitoring wells and groundwater level surveys taking into account tidal fluctuation. This data collection and the analysis of previous studies made it possible to identify the most suitable areas for groundwater sustainable extraction. The characterization findings suggested, unlike previous studies and surveys, the presence of only few drought resilient thin freshwater lenses, taking place in low conductivity sandy deposits, unexpectedly next to the seashore. Thanks to the 2D modeling results, it has been possible to clarify the mechanism that allows the storage of freshwater so close to the sea. View Full-Text
Keywords: atoll island; groundwater storage; freshwater resilience; MODFLOW/SEAWAT; saltwater intrusion; water resources management atoll island; groundwater storage; freshwater resilience; MODFLOW/SEAWAT; saltwater intrusion; water resources management
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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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Alberti, L.; La Licata, I.; Cantone, M. Saltwater Intrusion and Freshwater Storage in Sand Sediments along the Coastline: Hydrogeological Investigations and Groundwater Modeling of Nauru Island. Water 2017, 9, 788.

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