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Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Submarine Groundwater Discharge

Current Research and Associated Publications

Hawaiʻi

Map of the Kahekili area, Hawaii showing showing modeled cumulative flow distance, read more in the following paragraph.

Map showing modeled cumulative flow distance for 3 hours following low tide at the near surface (gray vectors) and near bed (black vectors) at the primary submarine groundwater vent site. Submarine groundwater discharge volumes were highest in the 3 hours following low tide, so these data provide insight into the dominant direction and distance of submarine groundwater transport from the primary vent site off Kahekili. The flow at the near surface was slightly faster and more to the southwest than the flow near the seabed, m, meters.
From: USGS Open-File Report 2012-1166

Publications

Johannesson, K.H., Palmore, C.D., Fackrell, J., Prouty, N.G., Swarzenski, P.W., Chevis, D.A., Telfeyan, K., White, C.D., and Burdige, D.J., 2017, Rare earth element behavior during groundwater–seawater mixing along the Kona Coast of Hawaii: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 198, pp. 229–258, doi: 10.1016/j.gca.2016.11.009.

Prouty, N.G., Swarzenski, P.W., Fackrell, J.K., Johannesson, K., and Palmore, C.D., 2017, Groundwater-derived nutrient and trace element transport to a nearshore Kona coral ecosystem: Experimental mixing model results: Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, v. 11, pp. 166–177, doi: 10.1016/j.ejrh.2015.12.058.

Swarzenski, P.W., Dulai, H., Kroeger, K.D., Smith, C.G., Dimova, N., Storlazzi, C.D., Prouty, N.G., Gingerich, S.B., and Glenn, C.R., 2017, Observations of nearshore groundwater discharge: Kahekili Beach Park submarine springs, Maui, Hawaii: Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, v. 11, pp. 147–165, doi: 10.1016/j.ejrh.2015.12.056.

Ganguli, Priya M., Swarzenski, Peter W., Dulaiova, Henrieta, Glenn, Craig R., Flegal, A. Russell, 2014, Mercury dynamics in a coastal aquifer: Maunalua Bay, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, v. 140, pp. 52-65, doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2014.01.012

Swarzenski, P.W., Dulaiova, H., Dailer, M.L., Glenn, C.R., Smith, C.G., and Storlazzi, C.D., 2013, A geochemical and geophysical assessment of coastal groundwater discharge at select sites in Maui and Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, in Wetzelhuetter, C., ed., Groundwater in the coastal zones of Asia Pacific: Coastal Research Library, v. 7: New York, Springer, p. 27-46, doi:10.1007/978-94-007-5648-9

Storlazzi, C.D., Field, M.E., Presto, M.K., Swarzenski, P.W., Logan, J.B., Reiss, T.E., Elfers, T.C., Cochran, S.A., Torresan, M.E., and Chezar, H., 2013, Coastal circulation and sediment dynamics in Pelekane and Kawaihae Bays, Hawaii--measurements of waves, current, temperature, salinity, turbidity, and geochronology: November 2010-March 2011: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012-1264, 102 p.

Dimova, NT, Swarzenski, PW, Dulaiova, H, and Glenn, C, 2012, Utilizing multichannel electrical resistivity methods to examine the dynamics of the fresh water–seawater interface in two Hawaiian groundwater systems: Journal Geophysical Research, v. 117, C02012, 12 PP.: doi:10.1029/2011JC007509

Swarzenski, Peter W., Storlazzi, Curt D., Presto, M. Katherine, Gibbs, Ann E., Smith, C.G., Dimova, N.T., Dailer, M.L., and Logan, Joshua B., 2012, Nearshore morphology, benthic structure, hydrodynamics, and coastal groundwater discharge near Kahekili Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1166


Malibu Lagoon, California

Photo of Malibu Lagoon.Hoover, D.J., Odigie, K.O., Swarzenski, P.W., and Barnard, P., 2017, Sea-level rise and coastal groundwater inundation and shoaling at select sites in California, USA: Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, v. 11, pp. 234–249, doi: 10.1016/j.ejrh.2015.12.055.

Ganguli, PM, Conaway, CH, Swarzenski, PW, Izbicki, JA, and Flegal, AR, 2012, Mercury speciation and transport in a California coastal lagoon system: The role of submarine groundwater discharge and monomethyl mercury production: Environmental Science and Technology, v.46, i.3, pp.1480−1488, doi:10.1021/es202783u

Izbicki, John A., Swarzenski, Peter W., Burton, Carmen A., Van De Werfhorst, Laurie, Holden, Patricia A., and Dubinsky, Eric A., 2012, Sources of Fecal Indicator Bacteria to Groundwater, Malibu Lagoon and the Near-Shore Ocean, Malibu, California, USA: Annals of Environmental Science Vol. 6, Article 4, http://iris.lib.neu.edu/aes/vol6/iss1/4/ [Download PDF (23.8 MB)]


Puget Sound Project: Hood Canal

Measuring water levels using a shallow piezometer

Measuring water levels using a shallow piezometer. Photos courtesy of Bill Simmonds and Don Rosenberry, USGS.

The response of SGD to the large tidal range observed in Hood Canal: Puget Sound, Washington can be studied by applying our suite of geophysical and geochemical techniques. This site, where tides can be in excess of 3 meters and there is notable SGD, provides an ideal opportunity to study SGD rates as a function of tidally driven water level fluctuations.

Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) has been shown to be important in water and chemical budgets of our coastal systems. The impact of SGD to a particular coastal water body depends on a variety of forcing functions that are both marine and terrestrial. For example:

  1. Tides, waves, storms or density/current driven gradients
  2. Density-related convection cells, induced by the instability of freshened water masses residing below more saline water
  3. The dynamic alignment of the fresh water/saltwater interface in response to climatic and anthropogenic forcing
  4. Water level variations across permeable barriers (for example, barrier islands) all may affect rates of SGD.

In this task, we will continue to assess the ecological impact of SGD within Hood Canal, WA (part of Puget Sound), where preliminary results clearly show finely defined 222Rn peaks that correspond closely to low tides events. We will investigate marine/terrestrial forcing on SGD rates in this system, which represent an endmember in terms of tidal amplitude and coastal energy. This effort is a more formal continuation of a field effort just commenced (June 2006), that was sponsored by WRD -Tacoma. While most of this task's emphasis will be devoted to examining SGD-derived nutrient loading to this estuary, the unique effects of tides and dramatic water level change on SGD are also being addressed.

Objectives

EM seepage meter

An electromagnetic (EM) seepage meter can assess seepage by measuring flow through an electromagnetic coil. It can continuously record the data.

Methods

Current methods will include our existing suite of geochemical and geophysical techniques that include:

  1. Stationary and continuous 222Rn
  2. Amospheric 222Rn
  3. The four naturally occurring Ra isotopes, 223,224,226,228Ra
  4. stationary and streaming DC resistivity
  5. electromagnetic (EM) seepage meters
EM seepage meter logging device

The logging device for an electromagnetic (EM) seepage meter.

Read more

A Geochemical and Geophysical Examination of Submarine Groundwater Discharge and Associated Nutrient Loading Estimates into Lynch Cove, Hood Canal, WA (532 kb PDF)

Additional Puget Sound Links, Projects, and Publications


Roi-Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands

Photo taken March 2, 2014 during an overwash event in the Republic of the Marshall Islands showing seawater overtopping the manmade perimeter berm on the island of Roi-Namur and covering large areas of the adjacent land surface.

During the March 2, 2014 overwash event in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, seawater regularly topped the manmade perimeter berm on the island of Roi-Namur and covered large areas of the adjacent land surface. [Larger version]

Hejazian, M., Gurdak, J.J., Swarzenski, P., Odigie, K.O., and Storlazzi, C.D., 2017, Land-use change and managed aquifer recharge effects on the hydrogeochemistry of two contrasting atoll island aquifers, Roi-Namur Island, Republic of the Marshall Islands: Applied Geochemistry, v. 80, pp. 58–71, doi: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2017.03.006.

Oberle, F.K.J., Swarzenski, P.W., and Storlazzi, C.D., 2017, Atoll Groundwater Movement and Its Response to Climatic and Sea-Level Fluctuations: Water, v. 9 no. 9, pp. 1–18, doi: 10.3390/w9090650.

Storlazzi, C.D., Gingerich, S.B., van Dongeren, A., Cheriton, O.M., Swarzenski, P.W., Quataert, E., Voss, C.I., Field, D.W., Annamalai, H., Piniak, G.A., and McCall, R., 2018, Most atolls will be uninhabitable by the mid-21st century because of sea-level rise exacerbating wave-driven flooding: Science Advances, v. 4 no. 4, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aap9741.


San Francisco, California

Map of the San Francisco Bay Coastal System.

The San Francisco Bay Coastal System. (ALI = Alcatraz Island, ANI = Angel Island, BB = Baker Beach, BFI = Bay Farm Island, CF = Crissy Field, OB = Ocean Beach, PB = Pt. Bonita, PL = Pt. Lobos, TI = Treasure Island, YBI = Yerba Buena Island). Fault lines from USGS (2006). From Barnard et al., Marine Geology v. 345.

Hoover, D.J., Odigie, K.O., Swarzenski, P.W., and Barnard, P., 2017, Sea-level rise and coastal groundwater inundation and shoaling at select sites in California, USA: Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, v. 11, pp. 234–249, doi: 10.1016/j.ejrh.2015.12.055.

Barnard, P.L., Foxgrover, A.C., Elias, E.P.L., Erikson, L.H., Hein, J.R., McGann, M., Mizell, K., Rosenbauer, R.J., Swarzenski, P.W., Takesue, R.K., Wong, F.L., and Woodrow, D.L., 2013, Integration of bed characteristics, geochemical tracers, current measurements, and numerical modeling for assessing the provenance of beach sand in the San Francisco Bay coastal system: Marine Geology, v. 345, p. 181–206, doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2013.08.007

Rosenbauer, R.J., Foxgrover, A.C., Hein, J.R., and Swarzenski, P.W., 2013, A Sr–Nd isotopic study of sand-sized sediment provenance and transport for the San Francisco Bay coastal system: Marine Geology, v. 345, p. 143–153, doi:10.1016/j.margeo.2013.01.002

Null, KA, Dimova, N, Knee, KL, Esser, BK, Swarzenski, PW, Singleton, MJ, Stacey, M, and Paytan, A. 2012, Submarine groundwater discharge-derived nutrient loads to San Francisco Bay: Implications for future ecosystem changes: Estuaries and Coasts, v. 35, i. 5, pp 1299-1315, doi:10.1007/s12237-012-9526-7


Santa Barbara, California

Photo of beach in Santa Barbara.

Sources of Microbial Contamination in Urban Streams and Ocean Beaches, Santa Barbara, California: View or download PDF, 9.1 MB

Hoover, D.J., Odigie, K.O., Swarzenski, P.W., and Barnard, P., 2017, Sea-level rise and coastal groundwater inundation and shoaling at select sites in California, USA: Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, v. 11, pp. 234–249, doi: 10.1016/j.ejrh.2015.12.055.

Izbicki, JA, Swarzenski, PW, Reich, C, Rollins, C, and Holden, P, 2009, Sources of fecal indicator bacteria in urban streams and ocean beaches, Santa Barbara, CA: Annals of Environmental Science, 3, pp. 139-178. [Download PDF (1.7 MB)]

Swarzenski, P.W. and Izbicki, J.A., 2009, Coastal groundwater dynamics off Santa Barbara, California: Combining geochemical tracers, electromagnetic seepmeters, and electrical resistivity: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 83, 77-89. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2009.03.027 [Download PDF (1.2 MB)]


Younger Lagoon, Santa Cruz, California

Hoover, D.J., Odigie, K.O., Swarzenski, P.W., and Barnard, P., 2017, Sea-level rise and coastal groundwater inundation and shoaling at select sites in California, USA: Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, v. 11, pp. 234–249, doi: 10.1016/j.ejrh.2015.12.055.

Richardson, C. M., Swarzenski, P. W., and Johnson, C., 2013, Quantifying groundwater exchange rates in a beach barrier lagoon using a radioisotopic tracer and geophysical methods: Abstract H41F-1308 presented at 2013 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 9-13 Dec.

 

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