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Dynamics of seawater intrusion in heterogeneous coastal aquifers

Saltwater intrusion (SWI) in coastal aquifers is one of the main challenges for water resources management. It is a natural process that happens because of the density difference between the denser saltwater and the lighter freshwater. Factors such as rising in seawater level or decrease in the groundwater flux towards the sea would promote further intrusion. Also, excessive pumping of freshwater to supply the demand of coastal cities can lead to increased intrusion lengths, potentially rendering the supplies unusable if not managed effectively.

This PhD project will study SWI in heterogeneous coastal aquifers. Both experimental and numerical methods will be used. Data from a real field site is available and the computer model SEAWAT will be used, and recommendations will be given on how to slow or reduce saline intrusions in similar contaminated sites.

Students with a grade of 1st class or 2.1 can apply. Desirable to have some basics of computer simulations but not necessary.

References:

1.Abdoulhalik, A, Abdelgawad, A., and Ahmed, A.A. (2019). Impact of Layered Heterogeneity on Transient Saltwater Upconing in Coastal Aquifers. Journal of Hydrology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2019.124393.

2. Ahmed, A. A., Abdoulhalik, A., (2018). Transient investigation of saltwater upconing in laboratory-scale coastal aquifer, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 214, 149-160.

3. Abdoulhalik, A., Ahmed, A. A. (2018). Transience of Seawater Intrusion in Response to Incremental Water Level Variations: Experimental and Numerical Study. Hydrogeological processes, https://doi.org/10.1002/hyp.13214.

How to apply

If you are interested in applying for the above PhD topic please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact the supervisor by email or phone to discuss your interest and find out if you woold be suitable. Supervisor details can be found on this topic page. The supervisor will guide you in developing the topic-specific research proposal, which will form part of your application.
  2. Click on the 'Apply here' button on this page and you will be taken to the relevant PhD course page, where you can apply using an online application.
  3. Complete the online application indicating your selected supervisor and include the research proposal for the topic you have selected.

Good luck!

This is a self funded topic

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Research-degrees/Research-degree-funding. The UK Government is also offering Doctoral Student Loans for eligible students, and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.