Scientists Create A Global Map Where Groundwater Meets Oceans

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By moderator August 3, 2019 15:57

The scientists have created the high-resolution maps of points around the globe where groundwater meets oceans, the first such analysis of its kind that may help protect both drinking water and the seas.

In a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, researchers from The Ohio State University in the U.S. showed that;

  • Nearly one-half of fresh submarine groundwater meets oceans near the tropics.
  • The regions near active fault lines send greater volumes of groundwater into the ocean than regions that are tectonically stable.
  • Dry, arid regions have very little groundwater discharge, opening the limited groundwater supplies in those parts of the world to saltwater intrusion.
  • In some parts of the world, the groundwater could be polluting oceans and also lakes with nutrients and the other chemicals. Groundwater, for example, it can carry the higher concentrations of nitrates, a key contributor to the types of harmful algal blooms as well as the high concentrations of mercury.
  • The climate heavily influences groundwater flow, and that cities in dry areas are especially vulnerable to saltwater contamination of aquifers.

The team worked with researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the University of Saskatchewan to combine topographical data from satellites and climate models to show the flow of groundwater around the world’s coasts.

Significance

  • The findings may help coastal communities better protect and manage their drinking water. Freshwater-groundwater discharge is a natural line of defense against saltwater intrusion.
  • First, near-global and spatially distributed high-resolution map of fresh groundwater flow to the coast could give scientists better clues about where to monitor groundwater discharge.
  • Help in understanding how and where groundwater gets to surface water could help policy-makers create better plans to improve those bodies of water.

Also read: Water Crisis Deepens, Can India Afford To Leave Groundwater Unregulated?

RETHINKING WATER GOVERNANCE STRATEGIES

moderator
By moderator August 3, 2019 15:57