Imbalance in groundwater-surface water interactions and its relationship to the coastal zone hazards

Yevgeniy A. Kontar, Y. R. Ozorovich, A. T. Salokhiddinov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

We report here some efforts and results in studying the imbalance in groundwater-surface water interactions and processes of groundwater-surface water interactions and groundwater flooding creating hazards in the coastal zones. Hazards, hydrological and geophysical risk analysis related to imbalance in groundwater-surface water interactions and groundwater flooding have been to a large extent under-emphasized for coastal zone applications either due to economical limitations or underestimation of significance of imbalance in groundwater-surface water interactions. This is particularly true for tsunamis creating salt water intrusion to coastal aquifers, even though most tsunami hazard assessments have in the past relied on scenario or deterministic type models, and to increasing mineralization of potable water because of intensive water diversions and also the abundance of highly toxic pollutants (mainly pesticides) in water, air and food, which contribute to the deterioration of the coastal population's health. In the wake of pressing environmental and economic issues, it is of prime importance for the scientific community to shed light onto the great efforts by hydrologists and geophysicists to quantify conceptual uncertainties and to provide quality assurances of potential coastal zone hazard evaluation and prediction under conditions of imbalance in groundwater-surface water interactions. This paper proposes consideration of two case studies which are important and significant for future understanding of a concept of imbalance in groundwater-surface water interactions and development and essential for feasibility studies of hazards in the coastal zone. The territory of the Aral Sea Region in Central Asia is known as an ecological disaster coastal zone. It is now obvious that, in order to provide reasonable living conditions to the coastal zone population, it is first of all necessary to drastically improve the quality of the water dedicated to human needs. Due to their intensive pollution by industrial wastes and by drainage waters from irrigated fields, the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers can no longer be considered as a source of safe and sustainable water supply. In such a situation, a number of scientists consider that the population's water supply must be achieved through a more comprehensive use of fresh and even subsaline groundwater resources from the coastal aquifers. The 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean caused imbalance in groundwater-surface water interactions and a disaster affecting thousands of kilometers of coastal zone in SE Asia. Many coastal wetlands were affected in the short term by the large inflow of salt seawater and littoral sediment deposited during the tsunami, and in the longer-term by changes in their hydrogeology caused by changes to coastlines and damage to sea-defenses. Many water quality and associated problems were generated by the tsunami. The tsunami has created imbalance in groundwater-surface water interactions and an accelerating process of salt-water intrusion and fresh-water contaminations in affected regions that now require drastic remediation measures.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
Place of PublicationWashington, DC
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
Volume2011
StatePublished - 2011

Keywords

  • ISGS

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