396231 - Salt Transport from an Estuary into the Underlying Aquifer – Field Measurements

Thursday, June 7
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Lakeshore B
Co-Authors: Kamal Mamoua, 220 E University Blvd # 305 Melbourne FL 32901 – Florida Institute of Technology; Howell Heck, 150 W Florida Melbourne FL 320901 – Florida Institute of Technology; Wissam Al-Taliby, 150 W Florida Melbourne Fl 32901 – Florida Institue of Technology

An unstable condition occurs as a result of heavier saltwater in an estuary overlying the freshwater in the underlying aquifer. This could result in significant salt transport from the estuary into the aquifer. Groundwater salinity was measured at the Eau Gallie and River Walk transects below a coastal estuary known as the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) to determine the temporal and spatial extent of salt transport from the IRL into the aquifer. These transects extend from the mainland to the Atlantic ocean or the Barrier Island and are 3.1 km and 1,6 km long, respectively. Measurements were taken on five occasions between June 2014 and September 2015. During this period, the IRL salinities in the Eau Gallie and River Walk transects varied from 0.53 to 0. 79 (ocean salinity = 1), and from 0.58 to 0. 9, respectively. The groundwater flow into the unconfined aquifer below the transects are primarily freshwater (salinity = 0.0067) from the mainland and flows upward into the IRL. At each transect, salinity measurements were made at 16 wells at depths of 1m to 3m below the lagoon bed. The Inverse distance weighted interpolation method was used to create iso-salinity contours below the IRL at both transects. These contours showed that the groundwater salinity changed with the IRL salinity indicating that salt from the IRL was moving down into the aquifer and mixing with the upward moving freshwater from the mainland. This salt transport should be accounted for in the hydrodynamic models of the IRL.

Ashok Pandit, Proffesor

2Professor and Department Head, Civil Engineering Department
Florida Institute of Technology

Dr. Pandit is a professor and department head of the Civil Engineering and Construction Management department at the Florida Institute of Technology. His research interestes include groundwater modeling and stormwater management. For the past 10 years he has been involved in estimating groundwater nutrient loads into the Indian River Lagoon, an estuary on the east-central coast of Florida.


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396231 - Salt Transport from an Estuary into the Underlying Aquifer – Field Measurements

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