This paper presents an analytical model for describing the tidal effects in a two-dimensional leaky confined aquifer system in an estuarine delta where ocean and river meet. This system has an unconfined aquifer on top and a confined aquifer on the bottom with an aquitard in between the two. The unconfined and confined aquifers interact with each other through leakage. It was assumed that the aquitard storage was negligible and that the leakage was linearly proportional to the head difference between the unconfined and confined aquifers. This model's solution was based on the separation of variables method. Two existing solutions that deal with the head fluctuation in one-dimensional or two-dimensional leaky confined aquifers are shown as special cases in the present solution. Based on this new solution, the dynamic effect of the water table's fluctuations can be clearly explored, as well as the influence of leakage on the behaviour of fluctuations in groundwater levels in the leaky aquifer system. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.