Natural Resources Research

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 279–291 | Cite as

Groundwater Assessment at Manukan Island, Sabah: Multidisplinary Approaches

  • S. M. Praveena
  • C. Y. Lin
  • A. Z. Aris
  • M. H. Abdullah


A rapid increase in the number of tourists has placed a heavy demand for freshwater on Manukan Island, a small island located offcoast of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Hydrochemical and numerical approaches have been applied in this study to evaluate the groundwater quality of unconfined aquifer lying in Manukan Island, Sabah, East Malaysia. This is vital to enhance better understanding about groundwater management. Hydrochemical analysis output indicated NaCl water type in sampling locations. Seawater intrusion is marked by its relatively high Na+, Mg2+, Cl and SO4 2− concentrations. Hydrochemical analysis output clearly showed the influence of seawater in groundwater of Manukan Island. The numerical model output proved the influence of seawater in groundwater of Manukan Island by indicating the upconing process at the beneath of the pumping well. Current status of seawater intrusion in Manukan Island is about 14.6% of freshwater and seawater mixing ratio in low lying area of Manukan Island as simulated by SEAWAT-2000 model output. Numerical model SEAWAT-2000 output showed clearly that the upconing process is the possible route of seawater to influence the fresh groundwater aquifer chemistry in Manukan Island. The results have enhanced the current understanding of seawater intrusion in the study area. Future studies will focus on using numerical models to simulate and suggest suitable groundwater management plans in Manukan Island.


Shallow groundwater hydrochemical numerical model seawater intrusion small island 



This research was financially supported by the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation, Malaysia (under Science Fund Grant No. 04-01-10-SF0065). The primary author would like to acknowledge National Science Fellowship (NSF) Scholarship, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia. The author (Lin Chin Yik) also would like to highly acknowledge WFS (World Federation of Scientists) for his scholarship providing. Permission from the Sabah Park Trustees for the study site is highly acknowledged. Lastly, the authors would like to thank Ms. Soon Wai Ping, Ms. Bibi Noorarlijannah Bt. Mohammad Ali, Ms. Chua Li Ying, Mr. Ng Lim Kuan Leang, Mr. Ong Jay Jim and Mr. Neldin Jeoffrey upon their field assistance.


  1. Abdulla, F. A., Al-Khatib, M. A., and Al-Ghazzawi, Z. D., 2000, Development of groundwater modeling for the Azraq Basin, Jordan: Environ. Geol., v. 40, p. 11–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abdullah, M. H., Musta, B., and Tan, M. M., 1997, A preliminary geochemical study on Manukan Island, Sabah: Borneo Sci., v. 3, p. 43–51.Google Scholar
  3. Abdullah, M. H., Kassim, M. A., and Hanapi, M. N., 2002, Saltwater encroachment into the sandy aquifer of Manukan Island: Borneo Sci., v. 12, p. 1–22.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, M. P., Ward, D. S., Lappala, E. G., and Prickett, T. A., 1992, Computer models for subsurface water: McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Anderson, M. P., and Woessner, W. W., 2002, Applied groundwater modeling: simulation of flow and advective transport: Academic Press, San Diego, p. 381.Google Scholar
  6. APHA (American Public Health Association), 1995, Standard methods for the examination of water and wastewater (19th edn.): American Water Works Association, Water Environment Federation, Washington.Google Scholar
  7. Appelo, C. A. J., 1996, Multicomponent ion exchange and chromatography in natural systems, in Lichtner, P. C., Steefel, C. I., and Oelkers, E. H., eds., Reactive transport in porous media. Reviews in Mineralogy, v. 34, p. 193–227.Google Scholar
  8. Appelo, C. A. J., and Postma, D., 1993, Geochemistry, groundwater and pollution: Balkema, Rotterdam.Google Scholar
  9. Aris, A. Z., Abdullah, M. H., and Kim, K. W., 2007, Hydrogeochemistry of groundwater in Manukan Island, Sabah: Malays. J. Anal. Sci., v. 11, no. 2, p. 407–413.Google Scholar
  10. Aris, A. Z., Abdullah, M. H., Ahmed, A., Woong, K. K., and Praveena, S. M., 2009, Hydrochemical changes in a small tropical island’s aquifer, Manukan Island, Sabah, Malaysia: Environ. Geo., v. 56, p. 1721–1732.Google Scholar
  11. Aris, A. Z., Praveena, S. M., Yusoff, M. K., Omar, H., and Ramli, M. F., 2010, Geochemical and numerical approaches for seawater intrusion assessment in a small tropical Island Aquifer: Twin International Conference on Geotechnical and Geo-Environmental Engineering, 23–25 June 2010, Seoul, Korea, p. 169–176.Google Scholar
  12. Ayob, K., Zulkifli, Y., and Bidin, K., 2007, Asas Hidrologi: Pearson Education, Malaysia, p. 245.Google Scholar
  13. Barker, A. P., Newton, R. J., Bottrell, S. H., and Tellam, J. H., 1998, Processes affecting groundwater chemistry in a zone of saline intrusion into an urban sandstone aquifer: Appl. Geochem., v. 13, no. 6, p. 735–749.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Basir, J., Sanudin, T., and Tating, F. F., 1991, Late Eocene planktonic foraminifera from the Crocker Formation, Pun Batu, Sabah: Warta Geol., v. 14, no. 4, p. 1–15.Google Scholar
  15. Bonell, M., Hufschmidt, M. M., and Gladwell, J. S., 1993, Hydrology and water management in the humid tropics: hydrological research issues and strategies for water management: Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  16. Falkland, A., 1993, Water resources assessment, development and management of small coral islands. Regional Workshop on Small Island Hydrology, Batam Island, Indonesia.Google Scholar
  17. Freeze, R. A., and Cherry, J. A., 1979, Groundwater: Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.Google Scholar
  18. Griggs, C. P., and Peterson, F. L., 1993, Flow regime associated with partially penetrating large diameter wells in hard rocks: J. Hydrol., v. 103, p. 209–217.Google Scholar
  19. Guo, W., and Langevin, C. D., 2002, User’s guide to SEAWAT-2000: a computer program for simulation of three-dimensional variable-density groundwater flow: technique of water resources investigation. Technique of Water-Resources Investigations, Book 6, p. 77.Google Scholar
  20. Harbaugh, A. W., Banta, E. R., Hill, M. C., and Macdonald, M. G., 2000, The U.S Geological Survey modular groundwater models: user guide to modularization concepts and the groundwater flow process: US Geological Survey, p. 121.Google Scholar
  21. Jayasena, H. A. H., Chandrajith, R., and Dissanayake, C. B., 2007, Hydrogeochemistry of the groundwater flow system in a crystalline terrain: a study from the Kurunegala District, Sri Lanka: Environ. Geol., doi: 10.1007/s00254-007-1024-z.
  22. Jeen, S. W., Kim, J. M., Ko, K. S., Yum, B., and Chang, H. W., 2001, Hydrogeochemical characteristics of groundwater in a mid-western coastal aquifer system, Korea: Geosci. J., v. 5, no. 4, p. 339–348.Google Scholar
  23. Kumaresan, M., and Riyazuddin, P., 2006, Major ion chemistry of environmental samples around sub-urban of Chennai City: Curr. Sci., v. 91, no. 12, p. 1668–1677.Google Scholar
  24. McDonald, M. G., and Harbaugh, A. W., 1988, A modular three-dimensional finite-difference ground-water flow model: Techniques of Water-Resources Investigations of the United States Geological Survey, Book 6, Chapter A1, p. 586.Google Scholar
  25. Mercado, A., 1985, The use of hydrogeochemical patterns in carbonate sand and sandstone aquifers to identify intrusion and flushing of saline water: Groundwater, v. 23, p. 635–645.Google Scholar
  26. MOH, 2004, National guidelines for drinking water quality, Ministry of Health, Kuala Lumpur.Google Scholar
  27. Pereira, L. S., Cordery, I., and Iacovides, I., 2009, Water conservation and saving: concepts and performance: Springer, The Netherlands, p. 382.Google Scholar
  28. Rejani, R., Jha, M. K., Panda, S. N., and Mull, R., 2008, Simulation modeling for efficient groundwater management in Balasore coastal basin, India: Water Resour. Manage., v. 22, p. 23–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Richter, B. C., and Kreitler, C. W., 1993, Geochemical techniques for identifying sources of groundwater salinization: CRC Press, p. 258. In Jeen, S. W., Kim, J. M., Ko, K. S., Yum, B., and Chang, H. W., 2001, Hydrogeochemical characteristics of groundwater in a mid-western coastal aquifer system, Korea: Geosci. J., v. 5, no. 4, p. 339–348.Google Scholar
  30. Simmons, C. T., Voss, C. I., Woods, J. A., and Prasad, A., 2001, Benchmarking variable-density groundwater flow and solute transport models: approaches, resolutions and future challenges: First International Conference on Saltwater Intrusion and Coastal Aquifers—Monitoring, Modeling, and Management, 23–25 April 2001, Essaouira, Morocco,, 3 September 2008.
  31. Simpson, H., 2006, Groundwater—an important rural resource: managing the quantity of groundwater supplies, Management/OMAFRA; Brewster Conant—Department of Earth Sciences/University of Waterloo.Google Scholar
  32. Singh, V. S., and Gupta, C. P., 1999, Feasibility of groundwater withdrawal in a coral island: Hydrol. Sci. J., v. 44, p. 173–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Spitz, K., and Moreno, J., 1996, A practical guide to groundwater and solute transport modeling: Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  34. Stoessell, R. K., 1997, Delineating the chemical composition of the salinity source for the saline groundwater: an example from East-Central Concordia Parish, Louisiana: Groundwater, v. 35, p. 409–417.Google Scholar
  35. Stumm, W., and Morgan, J. J., 1996, Aquatic chemistry: chemical equilibria and rates in natural waters (3rd edn.): Willey-Interscience, New York.Google Scholar
  36. To’th, J., 1999, Groundwater as a geologic agent: an overview of the causes, processes, and manifestations: Hydrogeol. J., v. 7, p. 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Tunku Abdul Rahman, 2007, Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park,, 21 January 2010.
  38. Varsanyi, I., and Kovacs, L. O., 1997, Chemical evolution of groundwater in the River Danube deposits in the southern part of the Pannonian Basin (Hungary): Appl. Geol., v. 12, p. 625–636.Google Scholar
  39. WHO, 2004, Guidelines for drinking-water quality. Vol. 1 recommendations (3rd): WHO, Geneva.Google Scholar
  40. Wong, P. P., 1998, Coastal tourism development in Southeast Asia: relevance and lessons for coastal zone management: Ocean Coast. Manage., v. 38, p. 89–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Zheng, C., and Wang, P. P., 1999, A modular three dimensional multi species model for simulation of advection, dispersion and chemical reactions of contaminants in groundwater systems: documentation and user guide: US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, USA, p. 202.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geology 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. Praveena
    • 1
  • C. Y. Lin
    • 1
  • A. Z. Aris
    • 2
  • M. H. Abdullah
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Science and TechnologyUniversiti Malaysia SabahKota KinabaluMalaysia
  2. 2.Faculty of Environmental StudiesUniversiti Putra MalaysiaUPM SerdangMalaysia
  3. 3.Water Research Unit, School of Science and TechnologyUniversity Malaysia, SabahKota KinabaluMalaysia

Personalised recommendations