Seawater intrusion physical models: A bibliometric analysis and review of mitigation strategies

Assaad Kassem, Ahmed Sefelnasr, Abdel Azim Ebraheem, Mohsen Sherif

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Seawater intrusion (SWI) problem is encountered in almost all coastal aquifers around the globe, however with different intrusion degrees based on multiple geological, hydrological, and environmental factors. The problem is exacerbated through anthropogenic activities, particularly the excessive extraction of groundwater. Research on the SWI problem has been conducted under field and laboratory settings to comprehend its underlying mechanisms and explore potential mitigation techniques. This article focuses on the bibliometric analysis of laboratory-scale SWI studies spanning the period from 1970 to 2023. It sheds light on research productivity, trends, keywords, leading contributors, and collaborative efforts defining potential future research directions related to the topic. Laboratory-scale SWI studies account for approximately 2.5% of groundwater salinization literature and 4% of SWI-specific literature. Research collaboration related to the topic involved 23 out of 31 active countries, notably lower than other research fields, due to the inherent challenges of upscaling laboratory models to the field-level applications. Additionally, a subset of articles investigating various SWI mitigation methods at the laboratory-scale was selected for an in-depth review. This study presents the prevalent laboratory setups and most commonly used tools for modeling of SWI mitigation strategies at the laboratory-scale. Among these strategies, physical barriers emerge as a highly effective control methods, while pumping optimization stands as a straightforward and cost-effective approach. Furthermore, this article summarizes favorable conditions and considerations associated with each mitigation measure. By combining bibliometric analysis with the in-depth review, literature gaps and areas for future research are identified.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131135
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


  • Management
  • Mitigation
  • Physical modeling
  • Seawater intrusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology


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