USGS package can model seawater aquifer intrusion

The US Geological Services (USGS) has developed an extension of its popular groundwater modeling program MODFLOW to predict the effect of human and environmental stresses on seawater intrusion into coastal aquifers.

In a collaborative effort among USGS, academia, and the private sector, a new modeling tool, called the Seawater Intrusion (SWI2) Package provides water managers with an integrated view of the regional aquifer system that enables them to quickly evaluate how changes to the system may affect future fresh groundwater availability.

The SWI2 Package is currently being applied in several studies of coastal aquifers in Florida.

For example, in a study focused on evaluating the effect of groundwater pumping on surface-water canal leakage, the SWI2 Package allowed the authors of the study to evaluate the combined effect that increased groundwater pumping and rising sea-level would likely have on the location of the freshwater/seawater interface with time. Application of this new SWI2 package enabled a timely cost-efficient solution to the problem, while accurately representing the system response.

USGS groundwater modeling software is available free-of-charge to the public. The Seawater Intrusion (SWI2) Package, which is available within the MODFLOW-2005 program, is fully documented and accessible at USGS Ground-Water Software website.