Kiel Marine Science

Submarine groundwater discharge: From local effects to global models

12.02.2018 von 17:15 bis 19:00

Lecture Hall Geosciences: Ludewig-Meyn-Str. 12, room 7


Dr. Nils Moosdorf
Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Bremen

The importance of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) as a nutrient pathway to coastal ecosystems has recently been addressed by a growing number of studies. These studies mostly focus local nutrient fluxes at easily accessible locations. Ecological effects of SGD, or impacts on large scale processes in the Earth system are still widely unknown. In my talk I will present results from laboratory experiments, field surveys, and modeling studies regarding volume and effects of SGD at different geographical scales. Combining these approaches allows robust and spatially explicit global predictions of this process.

Conducted field studies confirmed that groundwater is an important land-ocean transport pathway for nutrients, particularly in highly urbanized tropical coasts, but even around seemingly pristine islands. Global scale models illustrate the strong regional variability of SGD and highlight regions of particular relevance (e.g. small volcanic islands). Not surprisingly, SGD is used by coastal populations throughout the world as a water resource for drinking, hygiene, culture, and fishing. The traditional knowledge of its relevance was now verified by our studies highlighting the effects of SGD on coastal ecosystems, from changes in benthic microbial communities to fish abundances. SGD strongly impacts various facets of coastal systems at all spatial scales and it should therefore be considered by researchers and managers.

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