Groundwater waves in a coastal aquifer: A new governing equation including vertical effects and capillarity
Groundwater waves, that is, water table fluctuations, are a natural phenomenon in coastal aquifers. They represent an important part of the interaction between the ocean and aquifer and affect the mass exchange between them. This paper presents a new groundwater wave equation. Because it includes the effects of vertical flows and capillarity, the new equation is applicable to both intermediate-depth aquifers and high-frequency waves. Compared with the wave equation derived by Nielsen et al. , the present equation provides a closer representation of groundwater waves. In particular, it predicts high-frequency water table fluctuations as observed in the field. A validation of the new equation has been carried out by comparing the analytical solutions to it with predictions from direct simulations using the numerical model SUTRA. The effects of various physical parameters and their relative importance are also discussed.