Using spatial analysis to determine critical areas of the encroachment of saltwater for planning
McGee, Branden James
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The purpose of this study is to analyze the current conditions of a south Florida coastal area, in Miami-Dade County, and identify environmental indicators of saltwater intrusion into the groundwater aquifer. In Miami-Dade County, the Biscayne Aquifer is a major source of freshwater. It is threatened by the encroachment of saltwater, thus impacting the freshwater supply. By identifying indicators and analyzing them using spatial analysis in ArcGIS, critical areas can be determined where over drafting may occur on the groundwater aquifer, leading to further inland movement of the saltwater and freshwater interface. Environmental indicators include elevation, depth to aquifer, land use, chloride concentration values, and distances from canals, supply wells, and the current delineated saltwater and freshwater interface line. Using spatial analysis to determine critical areas provides planners with knowledge of areas of over drafting and the potential threat of well contamination so that future conservation methods may be implemented.