Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Ghyben-Herzberg Lens
Name: Merritt
Status: Other
Age: 13
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

Is the Ghyben-Herzberg lens specific to islands? Could you tell me a bit about it too?


A search for ghyben-herzberg on the internet will give you some references. One good explanation is at

Although the lens effect may be most applicable on islands, a similar effect is seen along sea coastlines, as well as some places inland (particularly Florida, but I know of a location in western Pennsylvania also) where a source of salt, and therefore saltwater, or saltwater itself (even though many miles from the ocean) is found underground, under the freshwater aquifer. In any case, removal of freshwater at a rate that exceeds precipitation's contribution to the freshwater aquifer will result in intrusion of saltwater into the freshwater aquifer, an undesirable result, especially when it is being used as a supply of drinking water.

David Cook
Argonne National Laboratory

Click here to return to the Environmental and Earth Science Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory