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Effects of the planned ephesus recreational canal on freshwater-seawater interface in the Selcuk sub-basin, Izmir-Turkey

An artificial water canal opening is planned between the Agean Sea and the historical Ephesus site for the sake of tourism in the Selcuk sub-basin. In order to predict the effects of the planned canal on freshwater-seawater interface and related contamination in the aquifer, 3-D numerical density dependent flow and solute transport simulations were carried out. The simulations included the pre-pumping and pumping periods without a canal and the prediction period in the presence of the canal. Chloride concentration comparisons of the results obtained from the pre-pumping period and the pumping period indicate that the freshwater-seawater interface in the aquifer has progressed inland due to artificial discharge in the sub-basin. Drawdown during the pumping period is about 15 cm. The planned canal opening could further lower the groundwater levels in the area and would change the groundwater flow directions in the first 4 years. Then the levels and flow directions will nearly recover. However, the canal opening could cause further seawater intrusion into the aquifer to the extent that groundwater would be unfit to use for irrigation after the seventh year of the canal opening in the irrigation cooperative II wells area and would be unfit to use for drinking purposes after the tenth year in the municipality wells area located at the south of the cooperative II wells. On the other hand, the cooperative I wells would not be effected by the opening of the canal.