Swarzenski Peter W.

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Peter W.

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  • Article
    Vulnerability of coral reefs to bioerosion from land-based sources of pollution
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-12-01) Prouty, Nancy G. ; Cohen, Anne L. ; Yates, Kimberly K. ; Storlazzi, Curt D. ; Swarzenski, Peter W. ; White, Darla
    Ocean acidification (OA), the gradual decline in ocean pH and [ inline image] caused by rising levels of atmospheric CO2, poses a significant threat to coral reef ecosystems, depressing rates of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) production, and enhancing rates of bioerosion and dissolution. As ocean pH and [ inline image] decline globally, there is increasing emphasis on managing local stressors that can exacerbate the vulnerability of coral reefs to the effects of OA. We show that sustained, nutrient rich, lower pH submarine groundwater discharging onto nearshore coral reefs off west Maui lowers the pH of seawater and exposes corals to nitrate concentrations 50 times higher than ambient. Rates of coral calcification are substantially decreased, and rates of bioerosion are orders of magnitude higher than those observed in coral cores collected in the Pacific under equivalent low pH conditions but living in oligotrophic waters. Heavier coral nitrogen isotope (δ15N) values pinpoint not only site-specific eutrophication, but also a sewage nitrogen source enriched in 15N. Our results show that eutrophication of reef seawater by land-based sources of pollution can magnify the effects of OA through nutrient driven-bioerosion. These conditions could contribute to the collapse of coastal coral reef ecosystems sooner than current projections predict based only on ocean acidification.
  • Article
    Submarine groundwater discharge to Tampa Bay : nutrient fluxes and biogeochemistry of the coastal aquifer
    (Elsevier B.V., 2007-01-10) Kroeger, Kevin D. ; Swarzenski, Peter W. ; Greenwood, Wm. Jason ; Reich, Christopher
    To separately quantify the roles of fresh and saline submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), relative to that of rivers, in transporting nutrients to Tampa Bay, Florida, we used three approaches (Darcy's Law calculations, a watershed water budget, and a 222Rn mass-balance) to estimate rate of SGD from the Pinellas peninsula. Groundwater samples were collected in 69 locations in the coastal aquifer to examine biogeochemical conditions, nutrient concentrations and stoichiometry, and salinity structure. Salinity structure was also examined using stationary electrical resistivity measurements. The coastal aquifer along the Pinellas peninsula was chemically reducing in all locations sampled, and that condition influences nitrogen (N) form and mobility of N and PO43−. Concentrations of NH4+, PO43− and ratio of dissolved inorganic N (DIN) to PO43− were all related to measured oxidation/reduction potential (pε) of the groundwater. Ratio of DIN: PO43− was below Redfield ratio in both fresh and saline groundwater. Nitrogen occurred almost exclusively in reduced forms, NH4+ and dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), suggesting that anthropogenic N is exported from the watershed in those forms. In comparison to other SGD studies, rate of PO43− flux in the seepage zone (μM m− 2 d− 1) in Tampa Bay was higher than previous estimates, likely due to 1) high watershed population density, 2) chemically reducing conditions, and 3) high ion concentrations in fresh groundwater. Estimates of freshwater groundwater flux indicate that the ratio of groundwater discharge to stream flow is not, vert, similar 20 to 50%, and that the magnitudes of both the total dissolved nitrogen and PO43− loads due to fresh SGD are not, vert, similar 40 to 100% of loads carried by streams. Estimates of SGD based on radon inventories in near-shore waters were 2 to 5 times greater than the estimates of freshwater groundwater discharge, suggesting that brackish and saline SGD is also an important process in Tampa Bay and results in flux of regenerated N and P from sediment to surface water.
  • Article
    The magnitude and origin of groundwater discharge to Eastern U.S. and Gulf of Mexico coastal waters
    (John Wiley & Sons, 2017-10-28) Befus, Kevin Martin ; Kroeger, Kevin D. ; Smith, Christopher G. ; Swarzenski, Peter W.
    Fresh groundwater discharge to coastal environments contributes to the physical and chemical conditions of coastal waters, but the role of coastal groundwater at regional to continental scales remains poorly defined due to diverse hydrologic conditions and the difficulty of tracking coastal groundwater flow paths through heterogeneous subsurface materials. We use three-dimensional groundwater flow models for the first time to calculate the magnitude and source areas of groundwater discharge from unconfined aquifers to coastal waterbodies along the entire eastern U.S. We find that 27.1 km3/yr (22.8–30.5 km3/yr) of groundwater directly enters eastern U.S. and Gulf of Mexico coastal waters. The contributing recharge areas comprised ~175,000 km2 of U.S. land area, extending several kilometers inland. This result provides new information on the land area that can supply natural and anthropogenic constituents to coastal waters via groundwater discharge, thereby defining the subterranean domain potentially affecting coastal chemical budgets and ecosystem processes.
  • Article
    Observations of nearshore groundwater discharge : Kahekili Beach Park submarine springs, Maui, Hawaii
    (Elsevier, 2016-01-14) Swarzenski, Peter W. ; Dulai, Henrietta ; Kroeger, Kevin D. ; Smith, Christopher G. ; Dimova, Natasha T. ; Storlazzi, Curt D. ; Prouty, Nancy G. ; Gingerich, Stephen B. ; Glenn, Craig R.
    The study region encompasses the nearshore, coastal waters off west Maui, Hawaii. Here abundant groundwater—that carries with it a strong land-based fingerprint—discharges into the coastal waters and over a coral reef. Coastal groundwater discharge is a ubiquitous hydrologic feature that has been shown to impact nearshore ecosystems and material budgets. A unique combined geochemical tracer and oceanographic time-series study addressed rates and oceanic forcings of submarine groundwater discharge at a submarine spring site off west Maui, Hawaii. Estimates of submarine groundwater discharge were derived for a primary vent site and surrounding coastal waters off west Maui, Hawaii using an excess 222Rn (t1/2 = 3.8 d) mass balance model. Such estimates were complemented with a novel thoron (220Rn, t1/2 = 56 s) groundwater discharge tracer application, as well as oceanographic time series and thermal infrared imagery analyses. In combination, this suite of techniques provides new insight into the connectivity of the coastal aquifer with the near-shore ocean and examines the physical drivers of submarine groundwater discharge. Lastly, submarine groundwater discharge derived constituent concentrations were tabulated and compared to surrounding seawater concentrations. Such work has implications for the management of coastal aquifers and downstream nearshore ecosystems that respond to sustained constituent loadings via this submarine route.
  • Article
    Exploring new frontiers in marine radioisotope tracing - adapting to new opportunities and challenges
    (Frontiers Media, 2020-06-03) Cresswell, Tom ; Metian, Marc ; Fisher, Nicholas S. ; Charmasson, Sabine ; Hansman, Roberta L. ; Bam, Wokil ; Bock, Christian ; Swarzenski, Peter W.
    Radioisotopes have been used in earth and environmental sciences for over 150 years and provide unique tools to study environmental processes in great detail from a cellular level through to an oceanic basin scale. These nuclear techniques have been employed to understand coastal and marine ecosystems via laboratory and field studies in terms of how aquatic organisms respond to environmental stressors, including temperature, pH, nutrients, metals, organic anthropogenic contaminants, and biological toxins. Global marine issues, such as ocean warming, deoxygenation, plastic pollution, ocean acidification, increased duration, and intensity of toxic harmful algal blooms (HABs), and coastal contamination are all impacting marine environments, thereby imposing various environmental and economic risks. Being able to reliably assess the condition of coastal and marine ecosystems, and how they may respond to future disturbances, can provide vital information for society in the sustainable management of their marine environments. This paper summarizes the historical use of radiotracers in these systems, describes how existing techniques of radioecological tracing can be developed for specific current environmental issues and provides information on emerging issues that would benefit from current and new radiotracer methods. Current challenges with using radioecological tracers and opportunities are highlighted, as well as opportunities to maximize the application of these methods to greatly increase the ability of environmental managers to conduct evidence-based management of coastal and marine ecosystems.
  • Article
    Hydrogeologic controls on chemical transport at Malibu Lagoon, CA : implications for land to sea exchange in coastal lagoon systems
    (Elsevier, 2016-10-13) Dimova, Natasha T. ; Ganguli, Priya M. ; Swarzenski, Peter W. ; Izbicki, John A. ; O’Leary, David
    Hydrogeologic controls on seasonal land/sea exchange are investigated in Malibu, California, USA. An assessment of regional groundwater/surface water exchange and associated biogeochemical transport in an intermittently open, coastal lagoon in California is developed using naturally occurring U/Th-series tracers. Nearshore lagoons that are seasonally disconnected from the coastal ocean occupy about 10% of coastal areas worldwide. Lagoon systems often are poorly flushed and thus sensitive to nutrient over-enrichment that can lead to eutrophication, oxygen depletion, and/or pervasive algal blooms. This sensitivity is exacerbated in lagoons that are intermittently closed to surface water exchange with the sea and occur in populous coastal areas. Such estuarine systems are disconnected from the sea during most of the year by wave-built barriers, but during the rainy season these berms can breach, enabling direct water exchange. Using naturally-occurring 222Rn as groundwater tracer, we estimate that groundwater discharge to Malibu Lagoon during open berm conditions was one order of magnitude higher (21 ± 17 cm/day) than during closed berm conditions (1.8 ± 1.4 cm/day). The SGD (submarine groundwater discharge) into nearshore coastal waters at the SurferRider and Colony Malibu was 4.2 cm/day on average. The exported total dissolved nitrogen (TDN) through the berm during closed berm was 1.6 × 10−3 mol/day, whereas during open berm (exported by the Creek) was 3.5 × 103 mol/day. Although these evaluations are specific to the collection campaigns the 2009 and 2010 hydro years, these two distinct hydrologic scenarios play an important role in the seasonality and geochemical impact of land/sea exchange, and highlight the sensitivity of such systems to future impacts such as sea level rise and increasing coastal populations.