The flow of fresh groundwater and solutes to the world’s oceans and coastal ecosystems

This is a Preprint and has not been peer reviewed. The published version of this Preprint is available: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-15064-8.

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Authors

Elco Luijendijk , Tom Gleeson , Nils Moosdorf 

Abstract

The flow of fresh groundwater towards the world oceans may provide substantial inputs of nutrients and solutes to the oceans. Here we present a spatially resolved global model of coastal groundwater discharge to show that the contribution of fresh groundwater is lower than most previous estimates and accounts for only ~0.6% of the freshwater input and ~2% of the solute input to the oceans. However, the coastal discharge of fresh groundwater displays a high spatial variability and for an estimated 20% of the world’s estuaries, salt marshes and coral reefs the flux of terrestrial groundwater is high enough to pose a risk for pollution and eutrophication. Coastal groundwater discharge constitutes a diffuse and largely unmonitored source of nutrients which given the slow rates of groundwater flow may continue to pose a pollution risk for vulnerable coastal ecosystems long after sources of pollution have been addressed.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/osf.io/sw8r4

Subjects

Earth Sciences, Hydrology, Oceanography, Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Keywords

groundwater, submarine groundwater discharge, eutrophication

Dates

Published: 2019-03-31 10:21

Last Updated: 2019-10-04 09:21

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License

GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1

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