Abstract

Aquifer-ocean interaction, saline intrusion, and submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) are emerging topics in hydrology and oceanography with important implications for water-resource management and estuarine ecology. Although the threat of saltwater intrusion has long been recognized in coastal areas, SGD has, until recently, received much less attention. It is clear that SGD constitutes a major nutrient flux to coastal waters, with implications for estuarine ecology, eutrophication, and loss of coral reefs; however, fundamental questions regarding SGD remain unanswered: What are the spatial and temporal distributions of SGD offshore? How do seasonal and storm-related variations in aquifer recharge affect SGD flux and nutrient loading? What controls do aquifer structure and heterogeneity impose? How are SGD and saline recirculation related? Geophysical methods can provide insights to help answer these questions and improve the understanding of this intriguing and environmentally relevant hydrologic phenomenon.

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