Understanding patters and fluxes of submarine groundwater discharge on Sylt – North Sea
Discharge of groundwater into the coastal zone is important on local to global scales for delivering fresh water and nutrients to the sea. The chemistry of this submarine groundwater discharge can be critical to the health of coastal ecosystems and a primary driver for costal eutrophication when nutrient loads exceed sustainable levels. But how do we quantify the water and nutrient flux to the coast? How heterogeneous is this flux in space and time? As part of a small DFG network we plan to use temperature as a tracer to quantify groundwater fluxes to the North Sea on the Island of Sylt. Islands can be used as field laboratories as they are relatively well confined, with limited anthropogenic impact. They are also sensitive to climate change and over-extraction of their water resources, which is especially important given the limited fresh water available on islands. This thesis will aim to map patters of groundwater discharge in the coastal zone as well as quantify fluxes of submarine groundwater discharge as part of a better understanding of how terrestrial systems are coupled to coastal and marine environments.