Modeling groundwater for the coastal plain region of North Carolina Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Lee, Juneil
    • Affiliation: Gillings School of Global Public Health, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • Groundwater is main source of water in the Central Coastal Plain (CCP) of North Carolina. The use of groundwater in the CCP has increased steadily over the last few decades. This increased used has led to declining water levels and increased levels of salts in water, which originate from the Atlantic Ocean. This phenomenon is known as saltwater intrusion. Saltwater intrusion can render water unsuitable for human consumption, and certain other uses, without expensive treatment. The overall goal this study is to better understand the movement of groundwater and role of saltwater intrusion in the CCP of North Carolina. To accomplish this goal mathematical modeling of groundwater flow and salt transport was accomplished. The USGS SUTRA code was used to simulate groundwater movement and saltwater intrusion in the CCP of North Carolina from 1974 to 2007. Saltwater intrusion was found to depend upon the pumping rate. In 1974 the groundwater pumping rate was relatively low and the transition region, or interface between saltwater and freshwater, was both observed and simulated to lie near the coast of NC. As pumping increased over the 33 year period simulated, the transition region was both observed and simulated to move steadily inland. The transition region reached a relatively stable position around 1995. The model developed in this work can be applied to better understand and manage the groundwater resources of NC.
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  • In Copyright
  • Miller, Cass T.
  • Open access

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