Saltwater intrusion

Managing groundwater resources in coastal areas

Saltwater intrusion is a process, which occurs in most coastal aquifers. Under natural conditions, the freshwater-seawater interface remains close to the coast as freshwater moves towards the sea. Groundwater pumping near the shoreline can reduce the freshwater flow towards the sea and lead to an inward flow of saltwater towards the freshwater zones of the aquifer. In extreme cases, this can put freshwater reservoirs at risk and also result in the abandonment of production wells.

With its geometrical flexibility and capabilities to consider density influences on fluid flow, FEFLOW is perfectly suited to simulate saltwater intrusion and other density-dependent processes in groundwater.

FEFLOW enables you to model:

  • Coastal saltwater intrusion processes
  • Upconing processes below production wells
  • Contamination and remediation
  • Freshwater storage in saline aquifers


  • Convenient input of all density relationships
  • Consideration of buoyancy effects in both porous and fissured media