Northeastern Section - 54th Annual Meeting - 2019

Paper No. 24-4
Presentation Time: 9:15 AM


PANTHI, Jeeban, Geosciences, University of Rhode Island, 9 E Alumni Ave, Woodward 332, Kingston, RI 02881

Coastal aquifers are becoming more vulnerable to seawater intrusion because of the over-extraction of groundwater to feed the growing number of people moving into coastal areas. In addition, increasing climatic extremes, such as strong storms, affect the natural interaction of fresh groundwater and saline ocean water because storms can push saltwater landwards horizontally, can cause up-welling of saline water, or associated high rainfall can affect groundwater flow conditions. In Rhode Island, about 40% of the drinking water supply originates from wells and the rate is even higher along the southern coast. The interaction of storm surge and heavy precipitation during a storm event with coastal aquifers is the focus of this study. In particular, the project aims at analyzing the temporal variations of groundwater level, precipitation and sea level change using in-situ observation, and their interaction. We analyzed two storm events (hurricane Sandy in 2012 and nor' easter in 2018) to evaluate the signature of groundwater response to the storm events. Our results show that the sea level is rising and the storm events affect the groundwater in southern Rhode Island.