Submarine groundwater discharge to Great South Bay, NY, estimated using Ra isotopes

Beck, A. J., Rapaglia, John, Cochran, J. K., Bokuniewicz, H. J. and Yang, S. (2008) Submarine groundwater discharge to Great South Bay, NY, estimated using Ra isotopes Marine Chemistry, 109 (3-4). pp. 279-291. DOI

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There is increasing evidence that submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) in many areas represents a major source of dissolved chemical constituents to the coastal ocean. In Great South Bay, NY, previous studies have shown that the discharge of nutrients with SGD may cause harmful algal blooms. This study estimates SGD to Great South Bay during August 2006 by performing a mass balance for each of the dissolved Ra isotopes (224Ra, 223Ra, 228Ra, 226Ra). The budget indicates a major unknown source (between 30 and 60% of the total input) of Ra to the bay. This imbalance can be resolved by a flux of Ra-enriched groundwater on the order of 3.5–4.5 × 109 L d− 1, depending on the Ra isotope. The Ra-estimated SGD rates compare well with those previously estimated by models of flow that decreases exponentially away from shore. Compared to previous reports of fresh groundwater discharge to the bay, the Ra-estimated discharge must comprise approximately 90% recirculated seawater. The good agreement between Ra- and model-estimated flow rates indicates that the primary SGD endmember may be best sampled at shallow depths in the sediments a short distance bayward of the low tide line.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: Ground water, Radium isotopes, Estuarine chemistry, Submarine groundwater discharge, SGD, New York, Great South Bay
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.:
ISSN: 0304-4203
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2010 09:16
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2019 03:49

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