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Submarine groundwater discharge into a semi-enclosed coastal bay of the southern Baltic Sea: A multi-method approach
Ehlert von Ahn, C.M.; Dellwig, O.; Szymczycha, B.; Kotwicki, L.; Rooze, J.; Endler, R.; Escher, P.; Schmiedinger, I.; Sültenfuß, J.; Diak, M.; Gehre, M.; Struck, U.; Vogler, S.; Böttcher, M.E. (2024). Submarine groundwater discharge into a semi-enclosed coastal bay of the southern Baltic Sea: A multi-method approach. Oceanologia 66(1): 111-138.
In: Oceanologia: Quarterly journal of basic research in marine sciences with emphasis on European seas. Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Oceanology: Wroclaw; Gdansk. ISSN 0078-3234; e-ISSN 2300-7370, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Author keywords
    Stable isotopes; Radium isotopes: Acoustic survey; Diagenesis 

Authors  Top 
  • Ehlert von Ahn, C.M.
  • Dellwig, O.
  • Szymczycha, B.
  • Kotwicki, L., more
  • Rooze, J.
  • Endler, R.
  • Escher, P.
  • Schmiedinger, I.
  • Sültenfuß, J.
  • Diak, M.
  • Gehre, M.
  • Struck, U.
  • Vogler, S.
  • Böttcher, M.E.

    The present study aims to understand the impact of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) on a coastal area with different lithology and degrees of SGD. Sampling campaigns took place in Puck Bay and the Gulf of Gdańsk, southern Baltic Sea encompassing years between 2009 and 2021. The methodological approach combined geophysical characterization of the surface sediments with detailed spatial and temporal (isotope) biogeochemical investigations of pore and surface waters, and was supported by nearshore groundwater and river surveys. Acoustic investigations identified areas of disturbance that may indicate zones of preferential SGD release. The composition of porewater and the differences in the bay's surface waters disclosed SGD as common phenomenon in the study area. Regional SGD was estimated through a radium mass balance. Local estimation of SGD, based on porewater profiles, revealed highest SGD fluxes at the sandy shoreline, but relatively low elemental fluxes. Though SGD was low at the muddy sites corresponding elemental fluxes of nutrients and dissolved carbon exceeded those determined at the sandy sites due to intense diagenesis in the top sediments. SGD appears to be sourced from different freshwater endmembers; however, diagenesis in surface sediments substantially modified the composition of the mixed solutions that are finally discharged to coastal waters. Overall, this study provides a better understanding of the SGD dynamics in the region by a multi-approach and emphasizes the need to understand the processes occurring at the sediment-water interface when estimating SGD.

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