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Dynamics of seawater intrusion in heterogeneous coastal aquifers

Civil Engineering

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Dr A Ahmed Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Saltwater intrusion (SWI) in coastal aquifers is one of the main challenges for water resources management. It is a natural process that happens because of the density difference between the denser saltwater and the lighter freshwater. Factors such as rising in seawater level or decrease in the groundwater flux towards the sea would promote further intrusion. Also, excessive pumping of freshwater to supply the demand of coastal cities can lead to increased intrusion lengths, potentially rendering the supplies unusable if not managed effectively.
This PhD project will study SWI in heterogeneous coastal aquifers. Both experimental and numerical methods will be used. Data from a real field site is available and the computer model SEAWAT will be used, and recommendations will be given on how to slow or reduce saline intrusions in similar contaminated sites.

Students with grade of 1st class or 2.1 can apply. Desirable to have some basics of computer simulations but not necessary.

Funding Notes

Brunel offers a number of funding options to research students that help cover the cost of their tuition fees, contribute to living expenses or both. See more information here: Recently the UK Government made available the Doctoral Student Loans of up to £25,000 for UK and EU students and there is some funding available through the Research Councils. Many of our international students benefit from funding provided by their governments or employers. Brunel alumni enjoy tuition fee discounts of 15%.)


1.Abdoulhalik, A, Abdelgawad, A., and Ahmed, A.A. (2019). Impact of Layered Heterogeneity on Transient Saltwater Upconing in Coastal Aquifers. Journal of Hydrology,

2. Ahmed, A. A., Abdoulhalik, A., (2018). Transient investigation of saltwater upconing in laboratory-scale coastal aquifer, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 214, 149-160.

3. Abdoulhalik, A., Ahmed, A. A. (2018). Transience of Seawater Intrusion in Response to Incremental Water Level Variations: Experimental and Numerical Study. Hydrogeological processes,
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