Water Resources Research

Response of the Mediterranean and Dead Sea coastal aquifers to sea level variations



[1] The present study examines the response of groundwater systems to expected changes in the Mediterranean Sea (rise of <1cm/yr) and Dead Sea levels (decline of ∼1 m/yr). A fast response is observed in the Dead Sea coastal aquifer, exhibited both in the drop of the water levels and in the location of the fresh-saline water interface. No such effect is yet observed in the Mediterranean coastal aquifer, as expected. Numerical simulations, using the FeFlow software, show that the effect of global sea level rise depends on the coastal topography next to the shoreline. A slope of 2.5‰ is expected to yield a shift of the interface by 400 m, after a rise of 1m (∼100 years), whereas a vertical slope will yield no shift. Reduced recharge due to climate change or overexploitation of groundwater also enhances the inland shift of the interface.