Flow Simulations

The results of the transient flow simulations including distribution of the salt concentration after 160,000 a model time are discussed and illustrated below. The model shows a clear decrease in salt concentrations after 160,000 a particularly in the lower aquifer and the northwestern rim syncline. Salt concentrations of crel = 1.0 only remain at the interface with the salt dome, where salt is constantly dissolved. In the northwestern rim syncline, the salt concentration is reduced to about crel = 0.4 – 0.6. This reduction results from the inflow of fresh water into the lower aquifer which dilutes the salt water in the rim syncline and transports it up to the surface. The areas of groundwater discharge at the surface are broadened. General flow directions are preserved. The flow velocity is slightly reduced, especially in the upper aquifer. After 160,000 a model time, the salt concentration and the groundwater flow almost meet steady-state conditions. The dominant process for the transport of the salt is advection due to relatively high flow velocities.

Fig. 1: Relative salt concentration and velocity field for constant boundary conditions at 160,000 a model time; length of velocity vectors proportional to velocity. Colors indicate the relative salt concentration (blue = fresh water; red = saturated brine).