Tidal dynamics of coastal watertables

Aseervatham, A. M (1994). Tidal dynamics of coastal watertables PhD Thesis, School of Engineering, The University of Queensland.

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Author Aseervatham, A. M
Thesis Title Tidal dynamics of coastal watertables
School, Centre or Institute School of Engineering
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1994
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Peter Nielsen
Total pages 253
Collection year 1994
Language eng
Subjects 09 Engineering
Formatted abstract

Coastal watertable processes are of importance in resolving environmental engineering problems involving salt water wedge migration, beach erosion and accretion processes, and the seaward movement of pollutants from coastal waste disposal sites. Some knowledge of these processes is required for the construction of coastal structures such as foundations for buildings and invert levels for canals. Field observations of the coastal watertable and its tidal response reveal dynamic characteristics which have not previously been identified, and which cannot be explained using available theories. 


Field observations of the coastal watertable have been supplemented with laboratory experiments using a vertical Hele-Shaw cell to study the tidal dynamics of unconfined aquifers. A number of analytical models are proposed and tested against the Hele-Shaw and field data. It is shown that while some time-averaged characteristics can be explained using one-dimensional analytical models, dynamic characteristics require more sophisticated models. Some success is obtained using an extension of the one-dimensional Boussinesq equation to incorporate vertical flow effects. The interaction between the aquifer and the capillary zone above the watertable is also seen to be a significant process in beach watertable dynamics. An analytical model which links the two zones and compares favourably with field data is presented. 


Some consideration is also given to the decoupled boundary condition which occurs during the falling tide and manifests itself as a seepage face. Observations in the Hele-Shaw cell challenge classical theories on seepage face formation, and field data indicate that the decoupled boundary condition may be a significant factor in beach watertable processes. 

Keyword Aquifers
Groundwater flow

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Tue, 20 Nov 2012, 10:07:04 EST by Mr Lachlan Wong on behalf of Scholarly Communication and Digitisation Service