A groundwater model has been developed for the lowermost Delmarva Peninsula, USA, that simulates saltwater intrusion into local confined aquifers and nitrate delivery to the Chesapeake Bay from the surficial aquifer. A flow path and groundwater-age analysis was performed using the model to estimate the timing of nitrate delivery to the bay over the next several decades. The simulated mean and median residence times of groundwater in the lowermost peninsula are 30 and 15 years, respectively. Current and future nitrate concentrations in coastal groundwater discharge were simulated based on local well data that include nitrate concentrations and groundwater age. A simulated future-trends analysis indicates that nitrate that has been applied to agricultural regions over the last few decades will continue to discharge into the bay for several decades to come. This study highlights the importance of considering the groundwater lag time that affects the mean transport time from diffuse contamination sources.
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A simulation of groundwater discharge and nitrate delivery to chesapeake bay from the lowermost delmarva peninsula, USA
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International Symposium: A New Focus on Groundwater - Seawater Interactions - 24th General Assembly of the In