Journal cover Journal topic
Earth System Science Data The Data Publishing Journal
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2017-110
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Review article
05 Feb 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).
Estimating the thickness of unconsolidated coastal aquifers along the global coastline
Daniel Zamrsky1, Gualbert H. P. Oude Essink1,2, and Marc F. P. Bierkens1,2 1Department of Physical geography, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
2Deltares, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Abstract. Knowledge of the thickness of aquifers is crucial for setting up numerical groundwater flow models in support of the management and control of groundwater resources. Fresh groundwater reserves in coastal aquifers are particularly under threat of salinization and depletion as a result of climate change, sea-level rise, and excessive groundwater withdrawal under urbanization. To correctly assess the possible impacts of these pressures we must have better information about subsurface conditions in coastal zones. Here, we propose a method that combines available global datasets to estimate, along the global coastline, the thickness of aquifers formed by unconsolidated sediments. To validate our final estimation results, we collected both borehole and literature data. Additionally, we performed a numerical modelling study of the effects of varying aquifer thickness and geological complexity on simulated saltwater intrusion. The results show that our aquifer thickness estimates can indeed be used for regional scale groundwater flow modelling but that for local assessments additional geological information should be included. The final dataset can be downloaded via https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.880771.
Citation: Zamrsky, D., Oude Essink, G. H. P., and Bierkens, M. F. P.: Estimating the thickness of unconsolidated coastal aquifers along the global coastline, Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2017-110, in review, 2018.
Daniel Zamrsky et al.
Daniel Zamrsky et al.

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Aquifer thickness along the global coastline D. Zamrsky, G. H. P. Oude Essink, and M. F. P. Bierkens https://doi.org/10.1594/PANGAEA.880771
Daniel Zamrsky et al.

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Short summary
An increasing number of coastal areas worldwide is facing a threat of groundwater quality degradation by salt water intrusion. Groundwater flow models help to get a better idea about the volumes of fresh groundwater reserves in these areas. Our research provides information on aquifer thickness which is one of the most important parameters for such models. However, we found that geological complexity of coastal aquifer systems is an at least equally important factor for accurate predictions.
An increasing number of coastal areas worldwide is facing a threat of groundwater quality...
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