Bokuniewicz Henry J.

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Henry J.

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  • Preprint
    Isotopic, geophysical and biogeochemical investigation of submarine groundwater discharge : IAEA-UNESCO intercomparison exercise at Mauritius Island
    ( 2011-09) Povinec, Pavel P. ; Burnett, William C. ; Beck, A. ; Bokuniewicz, Henry J. ; Charette, Matthew A. ; Gonneea, Meagan E. ; Groening, M. ; Ishitobi, T. ; Kontar, E. ; Kwong, L. Liong Wee ; Marie, D. E. P. ; Moore, Willard S. ; Oberdorfer, J. A. ; Peterson, R. ; Ramessur, R. ; Rapaglia, J. ; Stieglitz, T. ; Top, Zafer
    Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) into a shallow lagoon on the west coast of Mauritius Island (Flic-en-Flac) was investigated using radioactive (3H, 222Rn, 223Ra, 224Ra, 226Ra, 228Ra) and stable (2H, 18O) isotopes and nutrients. SGD intercomparison exercises were carried out to validate the various approaches used to measure SGD including radium and radon measurements, seepage-rate measurements using manual and automated meters, sediment bulk conductivity and salinity surveys. SGD measurements using benthic chambers placed on the floor of the Flic-en-Flac Lagoon showed discharge rates up to 500 cm/day. Large variability in SGD was observed over distances of a few meters, which were attributed to different geomorphological features. Deployments of automated seepage meters captured the spatial and temporal variability of SGD with a mean seepage rate of 10 cm/day. The stable isotopic composition of submarine waters was characterized by significant variability and heavy isotope enrichment and was used to predict the contribution of fresh terrestrially derived groundwater to SGD (range from a few % to almost 100 %). The integrated SGD flux, estimated from seepage meters placed parallel to the shoreline, was 35 m3/m day, which was in a reasonable agreement with results obtained from hydrologic water balance calculation (26 m3/m day). SGD calculated from the radon inventory method using in situ radon measurements were between 5 and 56 m3/m per day. Low concentrations of radium isotopes observed in the lagoon water reflected the low abundance of U and Th in the basalt that makes up the island. High SGD rates contribute to high nutrients loading to the lagoon, potentially leading to eutrophication. Each of the applied methods yielded unique information about the character and magnitude of SGD. The results of the intercomparison studies have resulted a better understanding of groundwater-seawater interactions in coastal regions. Such information is an important pre-requisite for the protection management of coastal freshwater resources.
  • Preprint
    Assessment of groundwater discharges into West Neck Bay, New York, via natural tracers
    ( 2006-05-21) Dulaiova, Henrieta ; Burnett, William C. ; Chanton, Jeffrey P. ; Moore, Willard S. ; Bokuniewicz, Henry J. ; Charette, Matthew A. ; Sholkovitz, Edward R.
    A field experiment to compare methods of assessing submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) was held on Shelter Island, NY, in May 2002. We evaluated the use of radon, radium isotopes, and methane to assess SGD rates and dynamics from a glacial aquifer in the coastal zone. Fluxes of radon across the sediment-water interface were calculated from changes in measured surface water inventories following evaluation and correction for tidal effects, atmospheric evasion, and mixing with offshore waters. These fluxes were then converted to SGD rates using the measured radon concentration in the groundwater. We used the short-lived radium isotopes to calculate a horizontal mixing coefficient to assess radon loss by mixing between nearshore and offshore waters. We also made an independent calculation of SGD using the Ra-derived mixing coefficient and the long-lived 226Ra concentration gradient in the bay. Seepage rates were calculated to range between 0 and 34 using the radon measurements and 15 as indicated by the radium isotopes. The radiotracer results were consistent and comparable to SGD rates measured directly with vented benthic chambers (seepage meters) deployed during this experiment. These meters indicated rates between 2 and 200 depending on their location. Both the calculated radon fluxes and rates measured directly by the automated seepage meters revealed a clear reproducible pattern of higher fluxes during low tides. Considering that the two techniques are completely independent, the agreement in the SGD dynamics is significant. Methane concentration in groundwater was very low (~30 nM) and not suitable as SGD tracer at this study site.
  • Article
    Investigating boron isotopes for identifying nitrogen sources supplied by submarine groundwater discharge to coastal waters
    (Frontiers Media, 2020-08-11) Tamborski, Joseph ; Brown, Caitlin ; Bokuniewicz, Henry J. ; Cochran, J. Kirk ; Rasbury, E. Troy
    Stable isotopes of oxygen, nitrogen, and boron were used to identify the sources of nitrate (NO3–) in submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) into a large tidal estuary (Long Island Sound, NY, United States). Potential contaminants such as manure, septic waste and fertilizer overlap in δ15N and δ18O but have been shown to have distinctive δ11B in non-coastal settings. Two distinct subterranean estuaries were studied with different land-use up gradient, representative of (1) mixed medium-density residential housing and (2) agriculture. These sites have overlapping δ15N and δ18O measurements in NO3– and are unable to discriminate between different N sources. Boron isotopes and concentrations are measurably different between the two sites, with little overlap. The subterranean estuary impacted by mixed medium-density residential housing shows little correlation between δ11B and [B] or between δ11B and salinity, demonstrating that direct mixing relationships between fresh groundwater and seawater were unlikely to account for the variability. No two sources could adequately characterize the δ11B of this subterranean estuary. Groundwater N at this location should be derived from individual homeowner cesspools, although measured septic waste has much lower δ11B compared to the coastal groundwaters. This observation, with no trend in δ11B with [B] indicates multiple sources supply B to the coastal groundwaters. The agricultural subterranean estuary displayed a positive correlation between δ11B and [B] without any relationship with salinity. Binary mixing between sea spray and fertilizer can reasonably explain the distribution of B in the agricultural subterranean estuary. Results from this study demonstrate that δ11B can be used in combination with δ15N to trace sources of NO3– to the subterranean estuary if source endmember isotopic signatures are well-constrained, and if the influence of seawater on δ11B signatures can be minimized or easily quantified.
  • Article
    Radium mass balance sensitivity analysis for submarine groundwater discharge estimation in semi-enclosed basins: the case study of Long Island Sound
    (Frontiers Media, 2020-07-17) Tamborski, Joseph ; Cochran, J. Kirk ; Bokuniewicz, Henry J. ; Heilbrun, Christina ; Garcia-Orellana, Jordi ; Rodellas, Valenti ; Wilson, Robert
    Estimation of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) to semi-enclosed basins by Ra isotope mass balance is herein assessed. We evaluate 224Ra, 226Ra, and 228Ra distributions in surface and bottom waters of Long Island Sound (CT-NY, United States) collected during spring 2009 and summer 2010. Surface water and bottom water Ra activities display an apparent seasonality, with greater activities during the summer. Long-lived Ra isotope mass balances are highly sensitive to boundary fluxes (water flux and Ra activity). Variation (50%) in the 224Ra, 226Ra, and 228Ra offshore seawater activity results in a 63–74% change in the basin-wide 226Ra SGD flux and a 58–60% change in the 228Ra SGD flux, but only a 4–9% change in the 224Ra SGD flux. This highlights the need to accurately constrain long-lived Ra activities in the inflowing and outflowing water, as well as water fluxes across boundaries. Short-lived Ra isotope mass balances are sensitive to internal Ra fluxes, including desorption from resuspended particles and inputs from sediment diffusion and bioturbation. A 50% increase in the sediment diffusive flux of 224Ra, 226Ra, and 228Ra results in a ∼30% decrease in the 224Ra SGD flux, but only a ∼6–10% decrease in the 226Ra and 228Ra SGD flux. When boundary mixing is uncertain, 224Ra is the preferred tracer of SGD if sediment contributions are adequately constrained. When boundary mixing is well-constrained, 226Ra and 228Ra are the preferred tracers of SGD, as sediment contributions become less important. A three-dimensional numerical model is used to constrain boundary mixing in Long Island Sound (LIS), with mean SGD fluxes of 1.2 ± 0.9 × 1013 L y–1 during spring 2009 and 3.3 ± 0.7 × 1013 L y–1 during summer 2010. The SGD flux to LIS during summer 2010 was one order of magnitude greater than the freshwater inflow from the Connecticut River. The maximum marine SGD-driven N flux is 14 ± 11 × 108 mol N y–1 and rivals the N load of the Connecticut River.
  • Preprint
    Isotope tracing of submarine groundwater discharge offshore Ubatuba, Brazil : results of the IAEA–UNESCO SGD project
    ( 2008-06-12) Povinec, Pavel P. ; Bokuniewicz, Henry J. ; Burnett, William C. ; Cable, J. ; Charette, Matthew A. ; Comanducci, J.-F. ; Konta, E. A. ; Moore, Willard S. ; Oberdorfer, J. A. ; de Oliveira, J. ; Peterson, R. ; Stieglitz, T. ; Taniguchi, M.
    Results of groundwater and seawater analyses for radioactive (3H, 222Rn, 223Ra, 224Ra, 226Ra, 228Ra) and stable (2H, 18O) isotopes are presented together with in situ spatial mapping and time-series 222Rn measurements in seawater, direct seepage measurements using manual and automated seepage meters, pore water investigations using different tracers and piezometric techniques, and geoelectric surveys probing the coast. This study represents first time that such a new complex arsenal of radioactive and non-radioactive tracer techniques and geophysical methods have been used for simultaneous submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) investigations. Large fluctuations of SGD fluxes were observed at sites situated only a few meters apart (from 0 cm d-1 to 360 cm d-1; the unit represents cm3/cm2/day), as well as during a few hours (from 0 cm d-1 to 110 cm d-1), strongly depending on the tidal fluctuations. The average SGD flux estimated from continuous 222Rn measurements is 17±10 cm d-1. Integrated coastal SGD flux estimated for the Ubatuba coast using radium isotopes is about 7x103 m3 d-1 per km of the coast. The isotopic composition (δ2H and δ18O) of submarine waters was characterised by significant variability and heavy isotope enrichment, indicating that the contribution of groundwater in submarine waters varied from a small percentage to 20%. However, this contribution with increasing offshore distance became negligible. Automated seepage meters and time-series measurements of 222Rn activity concentration showed a negative correlation between the SGD rates and tidal stage. This is likely caused by sea level changes as tidal effects induce variations of hydraulic gradients. The geoelectric probing and piezometric measurements contributed to better understanding of the spatial distribution of different water masses present along the coast. The radium isotope data showed scattered distributions with offshore distance, which imply that seawater in a complex coast with many small bays and islands was influenced by local currents and groundwater/seawater mixing. This has also been confirmed by a relatively short residence time of 1-2 weeks for water within 25 km offshore, as obtained by short-lived radium isotopes. The irregular distribution of SGD seen at Ubatuba is a characteristic of fractured rock aquifers, fed by coastal groundwater and recirculated seawater with small admixtures of groundwater, which is of potential environmental concern and has implications on the management of freshwater resources in the region.