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Title: Modeling Fresh Water Lens Damage and Recovery on Atolls After Storm-Wave Washover
Authors: Chui, T.F.M. 
Terry, J.P.
Issue Date: May-2012
Citation: Chui, T.F.M., Terry, J.P. (2012-05). Modeling Fresh Water Lens Damage and Recovery on Atolls After Storm-Wave Washover. Ground Water 50 (3) : 412-420. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The principal natural source of fresh water on scattered coral atolls throughout the tropical Pacific Ocean is thin unconfined groundwater lenses within islet substrates. Although there are many threats to the viability of atoll fresh water lenses, salinization caused by large storm waves washing over individual atoll islets is poorly understood. In this study, a mathematical modeling approach is used to examine the immediate responses, longer-term behavior, and subsequent (partial) recovery of a Pacific atoll fresh water lens after saline damage caused by cyclone-generated wave washover under different scenarios. Important findings include: (1) the saline plume formed by a washover event mostly migrates downward first through the top coral sand and gravel substrate, but then exits the aquifer to the ocean laterally through the more permeable basement limestone; (2) a lower water table position before the washover event, rather than a longer duration of storm washover, causes more severe damage to the fresh water lens; (3) relatively fresher water can possibly be found as a preserved horizon in the deeper part of an aquifer after disturbance, especially if the fresh water lens extends into the limestone under normal conditions; (4) post-cyclone accumulation of sea water in the central depression (swamp) of an atoll islet prolongs the later stage of fresh water lens recovery. © 2011, The Author(s). Ground Water © 2011, National Ground Water Association.
Source Title: Ground Water
ISSN: 0017467X
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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