Geology, salt water & sand

by Godspanther
Tags: geology, salt, sand, water
Godspanther is offline
Feb14-14, 03:10 PM
P: 20
If one digs a well near the ocean can the sand filter the salt out of ocean water? If so how far inland would one have to go?
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SteamKing is online now
Feb14-14, 03:22 PM
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No. You can dig as far inland as you are able. The answer is still no.

Water from ground wells starts out largely as fresh water.

Sand filtration is used to separated suspended solids from water.

The salts in seawater are dissolved, rather than suspended. It takes energy to extract the solutes (the salts) from the solvent (water).
Godspanther is offline
Feb14-14, 04:27 PM
P: 20
Interesting. I read a little more on the topic of desalination, particularly about vacuum distillation. How low can they manage to drop the boiling temperature to? I imagine that since we can create press machines that can exert enough pressure to create artificial diamonds We should be able to design reverse presses that can force near total vacuums.

SteamKing is online now
Feb14-14, 07:37 PM
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Geology, salt water & sand

The lower the pressure, the lower the boiling point. From a practical standpoint, the lowest pressure would correspond to the highest seawater temperature, say 90 degrees Fahrenheit (say 30 degrees C), so that you don't have to chill the incoming seawater, which becomes expensive.
z.js is offline
Feb17-14, 01:00 AM
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P: 46
There was one time when John Paton dug a freshwater well on the island of Aniwa. Others tried to do the same thing, but the water was bitter.
Ophiolite is offline
Feb17-14, 12:47 PM
P: 257
One might envisage a situation in which sea water passed through a clay bed. These will preferentially attract cations to their surfaces and inter-layer spaces. The problem is that permeability is very low, so it would take a geologically significant time to occur. It would also be difficult to imagine what drive mechanism could produce the necessary movement.
james marple
james marple is offline
Feb18-14, 05:22 AM
P: 1
Re questions: "If one digs a well near the ocean
can the sand filter the salt out of ocean water?
If so how far inland would one have to go?"

Beach sand will not filter salt from the water but many
ocean shorelines have fresh water aquifers beneath them.
Where soils are permeable and aquifers slope to the
ocean this fresh water may extend far offshore.

Where landowners adopt the onsite retention techniques
strongly recommended by USA gencies, aquifers can be
refilled to push salt water out from beneath the land.

Where politicians reject this rainwater management mode,
as here in San Diego County and most of Southern
California, the "zero runoff" design mandated by State law
is not in use so salt water has encroached under beaches
and estuaries. Wells and reservoirs commonly run dry
in the summer and during droughts like the present one,
even though County rainfall is 22 times household usage.

Small islands can have plentiful fresh wellwater if they have
adequate rainfall, permeable soil and wise land managers
z.js is offline
Mar11-14, 02:12 AM
z.js's Avatar
P: 46
No. And if you dig further and further from the shore, you might find yourself on the other side of the island... (There it would be even worse than halfway through!)
GeoClinkscales is offline
Mar22-14, 09:04 AM
P: 1
As hinted at by several replies, fresh water reservoirs are accumulated rain water which trickles down from the surface.

Below this fresh water zone the pore water is almost always brine, often referred to as connate water. This is sea water trapped with the sediments when the rock is formed.

At the sea shore contiguous high permeable sand bodies can be subject to competition between the surface rain accumulations and the salty sea encroachment due to various gradients of elevation, density, temperature, chemical concentration, etc. as wells as capillary forces/surface tensions.

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