Assessment of Groundwater Flow Dynamics Using MODFLOW in Shallow Aquifer System of Mahanadi Delta (East Coast), India

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Despite being a biodiversity hotspot, the Mahanadi delta is facing groundwater salinization as one of the main environmental threats in the recent past. Hence, this study attempts to understand the dynamics of groundwater and its sustainable management options through numerical simulation in the Jagatsinghpur deltaic region. The result shows that groundwater in the study area is extensively abstracted for agricultural activities, which also causes the depletion of groundwater levels. The hydraulic head value varies from 0.7 to 15 m above mean sea level (MSL) with an average head of 6 m in this low-lying coastal region. The horizontal hydraulic conductivity and the specific yield values in the area are found to vary from 40 to 45 m/day and 0.05 to 0.07, respectively. The study area has been calibrated for two years (2004–2005) by using these parameters, followed by the validation of four years (2006–2009). The calibrated numerical model is used to evaluate the net recharge and groundwater balance in this study area. The interaction between the river and coastal unconfined aquifer system responds differently in different seasons. The net groundwater recharge to the coastal aquifer has been estimated and varies from 247.89 to 262.63 million cubic meters (MCM) in the year 2006–2007. The model further indicates a net outflow of 8.92–9.64 MCM of groundwater into the Bay of Bengal. Further, the outflow to the sea is preventing the seawater ingress into the shallow coastal aquifer system.

Ajit Kumar
Rudra Mohan
Govind Joseph