Spring-neap tide-induced beach water table fluctuations and its influence on the behaviour of a coastal aquifer adjacent to a low-relief estuary
In this study, we investigated the effect of beach slope for a coastal aquifer adjacent to a low-relief estuary. The waste was suspected to discharge leachate towards the estuary. Field observations at various locations showed that tidally induced groundwater head fluctuations were skewed temporally. Frequency analysis suggested that the fluctuation amplitudes decreased exponentially and the phase-lags increased linearly for the primary tidal signals as they propagated inland. Flow and transport processes in a cross-section perpendicular to the estuary were simulated using SEAWAT-2000, which is capable of depicting density-dependent flow and multi-species transport. The simulations showed that the modelled water table fluctuations were in good agreement with the monitored data. The simulations showed that density difference and tidal forcing drive a more complex hydrodynamic pattern for the mildly sloping beach than the vertical beach, as well as a profound asymmetry in tidally induced water table fluctuations and enhanced salt-water intrusion. The simulation results also indicated that contaminant transport from the aquifer to the estuary was affected by the tide.