Wilson Presentation

Remote sensing as a tool for detection, quantification and evaluation of Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD) to Irish Coastal waters

Jean Wilson, Carlos Rocha

School of Natural Sciences, Centre for the Environment, Trinity College Dublin; jewilson@tcd.ie

Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD) is receiving considerable attention in the literature as a major pathway for anthropogenically derived pollutants to coastal waters. Nutrient enrichment of coastal waters presents a severe and chronic threat to the marine environment and research has already been shown that nutrient loading via SGD can exceed contamination from surface waters. In order to effectively manage, protect and preserve coastal areas an accurate assessment of contaminant sources is needed which includes knowledge of the magnitude and water quality characteristics of SGD flowing into the coastal system. Locating and quantifying rates of SGD remains a challenge due to the diffuse and spatially and temporally heterogeneous nature of discharge, however, recent research has indicated that remote sensing coupled with field verification can be an effective and affordable means to assess inter-tidal groundwater discharge. This presentation will provide an overview of the application and limitations of remote sensing methodologies in the detection and evaluation of SGD to Irish coastal waters.

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