Tamborski Joseph

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  • Article
    Revisiting 228Th as a tool for determining sedimentation and mass accumulation rates
    (Elsevier, 2022-07-12) Tamborski, Joseph ; Cai, Pinghe ; Eagle, Meagan ; Henderson, Paul B. ; Charette, Matthew A.
    The use of 228Th has seen limited application for determining sedimentation and mass accumulation rates in coastal and marine environments. Recent analytical advances have enabled rapid, precise measurements of particle-bound 228Th using a radium delayed coincidence counting system (RaDeCC). Herein we review the 228Th cycle in the marine environment and revisit the historical use of 228Th as a tracer for determining sediment vertical accretion and mass accumulation rates in light of new measurement techniques. Case studies comparing accumulation rates from 228Th and 210Pb are presented for a micro-tidal salt marsh and a marginal sea environment. 228Th and 210Pb have been previously measured in mangrove, deltaic, continental shelf and ocean basin environments, and a literature synthesis reveals that 228Th (measured via alpha or gamma spectrometry) derived accumulation rates are generally equal to or greater than estimates derived from 210Pb, reflecting different integration periods. Use of 228Th is well-suited for shallow (<15 cm) cores over decadal timescales. Application is limited to relatively homogenous sediment profiles with minor variations in grain size and minimal bioturbation. When appropriate conditions are met, complimentary use of 228Th and 210Pb can demonstrate that the upper layers of a core are undisturbed and can improve spatial coverage in mapping accumulation rates due to the higher sample throughput for sediment 228Th.
  • Article
    Radium isotopes as submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) tracers: review and recommendations
    (Elsevier, 2021-05-14) Garcia-Orellana, Jordi ; Rodellas, Valenti ; Tamborski, Joseph ; Diego-Feliu, Marc ; van Beek, Pieter ; Weinstein, Yishai ; Charette, Matthew A. ; Alorda-Kleinglass, Aaron ; Michael, Holly A. ; Stieglitz, Thomas ; Scholten, Jan C.
    Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) is now recognized as an important process of the hydrological cycle worldwide and plays a major role as a conveyor of dissolved compounds to the ocean. Naturally occurring radium isotopes (223Ra, 224Ra, 226Ra and 228Ra) are widely employed geochemical tracers in marine environments. Whilst Ra isotopes were initially predominantly applied to study open ocean processes and fluxes across the continental margins, their most common application in the marine environment has undoubtedly become the identification and quantification of SGD. This review focuses on the application of Ra isotopes as tracers of SGD and associated inputs of water and solutes to the coastal ocean. In addition, we review i) the processes controlling Ra enrichment and depletion in coastal groundwater and seawater; ii) the systematics applied to estimate SGD using Ra isotopes and iii) we summarize additional applications of Ra isotopes in groundwater and marine studies. We also provide some considerations that will help refine SGD estimates and identify the critical knowledge gaps and research needs related to the current use of Ra isotopes as SGD tracers.
  • Article
    Conceptual uncertainties in groundwater and porewater fluxes estimated by radon and radium mass balances
    (Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, 2021-01-08) Rodellas, Valenti ; Stieglitz, Thomas ; Tamborski, Joseph ; van Beek, Pieter ; Andrisoa, Aladin ; Cook, Peter G.
    Radium isotopes and radon are routinely used as tracers to quantify groundwater and porewater fluxes into coastal and freshwater systems. However, uncertainties associated with the determination of the tracer flux are often poorly addressed and often neglect all the potential errors associated with the conceptualization of the system (i.e., conceptual uncertainties). In this study, we assess the magnitude of some of the key uncertainties related to the determination of the radium and radon inputs supplied by groundwater and porewater fluxes into a waterbody (La Palme Lagoon, France). This uncertainty assessment is addressed through a single model ensemble approach, where a tracer mass balance is run multiple times with variable sets of assumptions and approaches for the key parameters determined through a sensitivity test. In particular, conceptual uncertainties linked to tracer concentration, diffusive fluxes, radon evasion to the atmosphere, and change of tracer inventory over time were considered. The magnitude of porewater fluxes is further constrained using a comparison of independent methods: (1) 224Ra and (2) 222Rn mass balances in overlying waters, (3) a model of 222Rn deficit in sediments, and (4) a fluid‐salt numerical transport model. We demonstrate that conceptual uncertainties are commonly a major source of uncertainty on the estimation of groundwater or porewater fluxes and they need to be taken into account when using tracer mass balances. In the absence of a general framework for assessing these uncertainties, this study provides a practical approach to evaluate key uncertainties associated to radon and radium mass balances.
  • Article
    Editorial: Advances in understanding lateral blue carbon export from coastal ecosystems
    (Frontiers Media, 2022-10-27) Xiao, Kai ; Chen, Nengwang ; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck ; Tamborski, Joseph James ; Maher, Damien Troy ; Yu, Xuan
    ‘Blue Carbon’ refers to the carbon captured by the coastal systems or ocean and was coined about a decade ago (Nellemann et al., 2009), emphasizing the carbon sequestration capacity of coastal vegetated ecosystems (e.g., macroalgae/kelp, seagrass beds, saltmarshes, and mangroves). These blue carbon systems only cover <0.1% of the ocean area, but may account for >50% of the carbon storage in marine environments, representing a large carbon sink comparable to the global river input (Alongi, 2014). The fluxes of terrestrial-derived carbon including dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and particulate organic carbon (POC) transported through surface river runoff to the ocean were well known and quantified (Ludwig et al., 1996; Regnier et al., 2022). However, increasing evidence suggests that tidal exchange dominates the transport of significant dissolved carbon from coastal ecosystems to adjacent estuarine and shelf waters (e.g., Maher et al., 2013; Tait et al., 2016; Wang et al., 2016; Chen et al., 2021). This mechanism is commonly named as carbon ‘outwelling’ or lateral carbon export (e.g., Teal, 1962; Odum, 1968; Wang and Cai, 2004; Sippo et al., 2017; Cabral et al., 2021; Santos et al., 2021; Tamborski et al., 2021).
  • 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
    Pore water exchange-driven inorganic carbon export from intertidal salt marshes
    (Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography, 2021-03-11) Tamborski, Joseph ; Eagle, Meagan ; Kurylyk, Barret L. ; Kroeger, Kevin D. ; Wang, Zhaoihui Aleck ; Henderson, Paul B. ; Charette, Matthew A.
    Respiration in intertidal salt marshes generates dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) that is exported to the coastal ocean by tidal exchange with the marsh platform. Understanding the link between physical drivers of water exchange and chemical flux is a key to constraining coastal wetland contributions to regional carbon budgets. The spatial and temporal (seasonal, annual) variability of marsh pore water exchange and DIC export was assessed from a microtidal salt marsh (Sage Lot Pond, Massachusetts). Spatial variability was constrained from 224Ra : 228Th disequilibria across two hydrologic units within the marsh sediments. Disequilibrium between the more soluble 224Ra and its sediment-bound parent 228Th reveals significant pore water exchange in the upper 5 cm of the marsh surface (0–36 L m−2 d−1) that is most intense in low marsh elevation zones, driven by tidal overtopping. Surficial sediment DIC transport ranges from 0.0 to 0.7 g C m−2 d−1. The sub-surface sediment horizon intersected by mean low tide was disproportionately impacted by tidal pumping (20–80 L m−2 d−1) and supplied a seasonal DIC flux of 1.7–5.4 g C m−2 d−1. Export exceeded 10 g C m−2 d−1 for another marsh unit, demonstrating that fluxes can vary substantially across salt marshes under similar conditions within the same estuary. Seasonal and annual variability in marsh pore water exchange, constrained from tidal time-series of radium isotopes, was driven in part by variability in mean sea level. Rising sea levels will further inundate high marsh elevation zones, which may lead to greater DIC export.
  • Article
    Guidelines and limits for the quantification of ra isotopes and related radionuclides with the radium delayed coincidence counter (RaDeCC)
    (American Geophysical Union, 2020-03-27) Diego-Feliu, Marc ; Rodellas, Valenti ; Alorda-Kleinglass, Aaron ; Tamborski, Joseph ; van Beek, Pieter ; Heins, L. ; Bruach, Joan Manuel ; Arnold, Ralph ; Garcia-Orellana, Jordi
    The Radium Delayed Coincidence Counter (RaDeCC) is one of the most extensively used equipment for measuring 223Ra and 224Ra activities in water and sediment samples. Samples are placed in a closed He‐circulation system that carries the Rn produced by the decay of Ra to a scintillation cell. Each alpha decay recorded in the cell is routed to an electronic delayed coincidence system which enables the discrimination of 223Ra and 224Ra. In this study, the measurement and quantification methods using the RaDeCC system are assessed through analyses of registered data in different RaDeCC systems worldwide and a set of simulations. Results of this work indicate that the equations used to correct for 223Ra and 224Ra cross‐talk interferences are only valid for a given range of activities and ratios between isotopes. Above certain limits that are specified in this study, these corrections may significantly overestimate the quantification of 223Ra and 224Ra activities (up to ~40% and 30%, respectively), as well as the quantification of their parents 227Ac and 228Th. High activities of 226Ra may also produce an overestimation of 224Ra activities due to the buildup of 222Rn, especially when long measurements with low activities of 224Ra are performed. An improved method to quantify 226Ra activities from the buildup of 222Rn with the RaDeCC system is also developed in this study. Wethus provide a new set of guidelines for the appropriate quantification of 223Ra, 224Ra, 227Ac, 228Th, and 226Ra with the RaDeCC system.
  • 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.
  • Article
    Nutrient fluxes associated with submarine groundwater discharge from karstic coastal aquifers (Côte Bleue, French Mediterranean coastline)
    (Frontiers Media, 2020-02-18) Bejannin, Simon ; Tamborski, Joseph ; van Beek, Pieter ; Souhaut, Marc ; Stieglitz, Thomas ; Radakovitch, Olivier ; Claude, Christelle ; Conan, Pascal ; Pujo-Pay, Mireille ; Crispi, Olivier ; Le Roy, Emilie ; Estournel, Claude
    Determination of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) from karstic coastal aquifers is important to constrain hydrological and biogeochemical cycles. However, SGD quantification using commonly employed geochemical methods can be difficult to constrain under the presence of large riverine inputs, and is further complicated by the determination of the karstic groundwater endmember. Here, we investigated a coastal region where groundwater discharges from a karstic aquifer system using airborne thermal infrared mapping and geochemical sampling conducted along offshore transects. We report radium data (223Ra, 224Ra, 228Ra) that we used to derive fluxes (water, nutrients) associated with terrestrial groundwater discharge and/or seawater circulation through the nearshore permeable sediments and coastal aquifer. Field work was conducted at different periods of the year to study the temporal variability of the chemical fluxes. Offshore transects of 223Ra and 224Ra were used to derive horizontal eddy diffusivity coefficients that were subsequently combined with surface water nutrient gradients (NO2− + NO3−, DSi) to determine the net nutrient fluxes from SGD. The estimated DSi and (NO2− + NO3−) fluxes are 6.2 ± 5.0 *103 and 4.0 ± 2.0 *103 mol d−1 per km of coastline, respectively. We attempted to further constrain these SGD fluxes by combining horizontal eddy diffusivity and 228Ra gradients. However, SGD endmember selection in this area (terrestrial groundwater discharge vs. porewater) adds further uncertainty to the flux calculation and thus prevented us from calculating a reliable flux using this latter method. Additionally, the relatively long half-life of 228Ra (5.75 y) makes it sensitive to specific circulation patterns in this coastal region, including sporadic intrusions of Rhône river waters that impact both the 228Ra and nutrient surface water distributions. We show that SGD nutrient fluxes locally reach up to 20 times the nutrient fluxes from a small river (Huveaune River). On a regional scale, DSi fluxes driven by SGD vary between 0.1 and 1.4% of the DSi inputs of the Rhône River, while the (NO2− + NO3−) fluxes driven by SGD on this 22 km long coastline are between 0.1 and 0.3% of the Rhône River inputs, the largest river that discharges into the Mediterranean Sea. Interestingly, the nutrient fluxes reported here are similar in magnitude compared with the fluxes quantified along the sandy beach of La Franqui, in the western Gulf of Lions (Tamborski et al., 2018), despite the different lithology of the two areas (karst systems vs. unconsolidated sediment).