Saltwater intrusion, leading to the salinization of fresh groundwater, is the most challenging problem in coastal regions. Saltwater pumping from a barrier well is widely applied to prevent saltwater intrusion. Owing to its easy installation, many studies have investigated saltwater pumping. However, quantitative relationships between the barrier and inland production wells have not been revealed. In this study, lab-scale experiments were conducted to examine the effectiveness of a barrier well on the possible flow rate of freshwater from a production well. Moreover, a two-dimensional numerical model was created and simulated under the same conditions as those used in the experiments to analyze the experimental results. Consequently, a critical pumping ratio of 1.9 was obtained. In the numerical simulation, it was confirmed that an upconing of highly concentrated saltwater toward the barrier well was observed when the pumping ratio was less than the critical ratio. In conclusion, there is a critical pumping ratio between the barrier and the production well, and saltwater intrusion can be controlled by keeping the pumping rates under the critical ratio. Although further studies have yet to be conducted on a practical scale, this study showed the potential of the pumping ratio control to manage saltwater intrusion.
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