Submarine groundwater discharge versus river fluxes as nutrient supply for tropical marine ecosystems
By Dr. Nils Moosdorf, Institute for Geology, University of Hamburg
While rivers are the obvious and well researched transport pathways of nutrients from land to sea, submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) is less recognized. Existing studies of SGD highlight its local importance, and more recently its regional to global significance. Islands and tropical islands possess coastal ecosystems that are relatively vulnerable, and they could be particularly affected by nutrients transported by SGD compared to nutrient transport by rivers at the surface.
After providing an overview of nutrient fluxes by river discharge, results of a review of SGD from tropical islands will be reported. SGD measurement methods will be presented and related to extrapolations, and complications will be discussed. A simple first order estimation of relative importance of river flux versus SGD for coastal nutrients will be explained, and finally, a planned project on SGD from tropical islands will be presented.
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