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Modeling of seawater intrusion in a coastal aquifer of Karaburun Peninsula, western Turkey
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Seawater intrusion is a major problem to freshwater resources especially in coastal areas where fresh groundwater is surrounded and could be easily influenced by seawater. This study presents the development of a conceptual and numerical model for the coastal aquifer of Karareis region (Karaburun Peninsula) in the western part of Turkey. The study also presents the interpretation and the analysis of the time series data of groundwater levels recorded by data loggers. The SEAWAT model is used in this study to solve the density-dependent flow field and seawater intrusion in the coastal aquifer that is under excessive pumping particularly during summer months. The model was calibrated using the average values of a 1-year dataset and further verified by the average values of another year. Five potential scenarios were analyzed to understand the effects of pumping and climate change on groundwater levels and the extent of seawater intrusion in the next 10 years. The result of the analysis demonstrated high levels of electrical conductivity and chloride along the coastal part of the study area. As a result of the numerical model, seawater intrusion is simulated to move about 420 m toward the land in the next 10 years under “increased pumping” scenario, while a slight change in water level and TDS concentrations was observed in “climate change” scenario. Results also revealed that a reduction in the pumping rate from Karareis wells will be necessary to protect fresh groundwater from contamination by seawater.