Saltwater Intrusion

Saltwater intrusion, in which saline water displaces or mixes with fresh groundwater, is another source of groundwater contamination. Saltwater intrusion is usually caused when the hydrodynamic balance between the fresh water and the saline water is disturbed, such as when fresh groundwater is overpumped in coastal aquifers (Task Committee on Salt Water Intrusion 1969). Saltwater intrusion can also occur when the natural barriers that separate fresh and saline water are destroyed, such as in the construction of coastal drainage canals that enable tidal water to advance inland and percolate into a freshwater aquifer (Todd 1974).

—Ahmed Hamidi

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