Quantitative and qualitative assessment of seawater intrusion in wadi ham under different pumping scenarios

Mohsen Sherif, Ahmed Sefelnasr, Abdel Azim Ebraheem, Akbar Javadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Arid coastal regions are more vulnerable to groundwater deterioration problems. Intensive groundwater abstraction from the coastal aquifer of Wadi Ham, United Arab Emirates, caused a severe saltwater intrusion problem. Given the deterioration of groundwater quality, domestic water supply from well fields have been terminated and replaced by desalinated seawater. In addition, many farms in southeast Fujairah city have been abandoned. This paper develops a two-dimensional finite element groundwater flow and solute transport model to simulate the spatial and temporal variations of the salinity distribution in the coastal aquifer of Wadi Ham, taking into account the transition zone between freshwater and seawater bodies. All simulations were conducted in the horizontal view under transient conditions. The available historical records of the water table levels were used to calibrate and validate the developed model. Emphasis was placed on the response of the transition zone to different pumping scenarios in Wadi Ham. The results indicated that the seawater intrusion problem has evolved rapidly during the last two decades. Unlike previous investigations, this study presents the most accurate quantitative and qualitative assessment of available groundwater in the Wadi Ham aquifer under different pumping scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)855-866
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hydrologic Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Coastal aquifers
  • Groundwater management
  • Numerical simulation
  • Seawater intrusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • General Environmental Science


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