Simulation of seawater intrusion into the Khan Yunis area of the Gaza Strip coastal aquifer Academic Article uri icon


  • The Gaza Strip coastal aquifer is under severe hydrological stress due to over-exploitation. Excessive pumping during the past decades in the Gaza region has caused a significant lowering of groundwater levels, altering in some regions the normal transport of salts into the sea and reversing the gradient of groundwater flow. The sharp increase in chloride concentrations in groundwater indicates intrusion of seawater and/or brines from the western part of the aquifer near the sea. Simulations of salt-water intrusion were carried out using a two-dimensional density-dependent flow and transport model SUTRA (Voss 1984). This model was applied to the Khan Yunis section of the Gaza Strip aquifer. Simulations were done under an assumption that pumping rates increase according to the rate of population growth, or about 3.8% a year. Model parameters were estimated using available field observations. Numerical simulations show that the rate of seawater intrusion during 1997–2006 is expected to be 20–45 m/yr. The results lead to a better understanding of aquifer salinization due to seawater intrusion and give some estimate of the rate of deterioration of groundwater.

publication date

  • October 1, 2002