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Second International Conference on Saltwater Intrusion and Coastal Aquifers Held on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula
USGS scientists Peter Swarzenski and Jack Kindinger (Geology Discipline [GD], St. Petersburg, FL) were asked to join the international steering committee of SWICA in Essaouira and participated in discussions and planning meetings for future SWICA events and publication venues. Both were also asked to chair sessions in Mérida and have been asked to serve as advisors in a joint Mexico-U.S. National Academy of Sciences venture that will seek collaborative research opportunities in hydrogeology and coastal aquifers.
During the SWICA2 inauguration ceremony, the famous Yucatecan scientist Antonio Camargo Zanoguera was formally recognized by the Mexican National Academy of Sciences and by other distinguished representatives from Yucatán for his discovery of the Chicxulub impact crater. Chicxulub is a site in northern Yucatán where a giant asteroid or comet struck the Earth approximately 65 million years ago and possibly caused the mass extinctions of the dinosaurs and more than 70 percent of all life on Earth.
Brian Edwards (GD, Menlo Park, CA), Steve Gingerich (Water-Resources Discipline [WRD], Honolulu, HI), Jack Kindinger, Kevin Cunningham (WRD, Miami, FL), Leonard Konikow (WRD, Reston, VA), Christian Langevin (WRD, Miami, FL), Dorothy Payne (WRD, Atlanta, GA), Peter Swarzenski, and Clifford Voss (WRD, Reston, VA) made USGS presentations at the conference.
Speakers from the USGS' Coastal and Marine Geology Program provided clear evidence for the importance of using geologic information to strengthen interdisciplinary hydrogeologic studies and to describe subsurface aquifers and flow systems more realistically. Brian provided a refined stratigraphic depiction of the complex Los Angeles Basin coastal-aquifer systems. Jack presented new geophysical results from the Lake Belt area of Miami, and Peter was asked to present a plenary talk on the geology and hydrogeology of the Florida peninsula.
The conference was a direct result of an ever-increasing proportion of the world's population (now about 70 percent) residing along coastal zones. In response to population and economic growth, ground water is becoming an increasingly important component of overall water demand. The inadequacy of sound management schemes has led to over-exploitation of ground water in many coastal regions of the world, resulting in encroachment of saltwater into coastal aquifers.
The conference objectives were to bring together scientists and water-resources managers from all over the world to exchange state-of-the-art knowledge and to discuss new technological advancements. The conference was a successful multidisciplinary meeting of hydrogeologists, geophysicists, geochemists, numerical modelers, managers, and policymakers. The conference theme was to promote an integrated approach that incorporates all aspects of monitoring, modeling, and management in addressing coastal-aquifer issues. Before the conference, well-attended workshops led by Cliff Voss and Lenny Konikow (USGS) provided hands-on training in the principles and applications of subsurface hydrogeology and numerical modeling.
in this issue:
Saltwater Intrusion and Coastal Aquifers
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