Barrier Beach Water Table Management

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by Brett A. Burdick, ATEC Environmental Consultants, United States,
Sarah A. Bellmund, ATEC Environmental Consultants, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Barrier Islands: Process and Management

Abstract: The solution to the water table elevation within a barrier beach, subject to the assumptions of a homogeneous and isotropic phreatic aquifer, is an ellipse with its long axis oriented horizontally. The maximum height of the water table occurs along the center of the barrier and is proportional to the product of the barrier half-width and the square-root of the ratio of the recharge rate to the saturated hydraulic conductivity. The analytic geometry of the solution allows for several generalizations to be made relative to the fate and residence time of hazardous material spills and septic system leachate. In real world barriers grain size and hydraulic conductivity varies with position within the barrier and the Ghyben-Herzberg phenomenon of fresh water floating on salt water is involved. These can be accommodated by changing boundary conditions and solving the equations in a stepwise manner.

Subject Headings: Water table | Water pollution | Hydraulic conductivity | Hazardous materials spills | Salt water | Barrier islands | Beaches | Fresh water |

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