Hydrogeologic controls on chemical transport at Malibu Lagoon, CA : implications for land to sea exchange in coastal lagoon systems
Dimova, Natasha T.
Ganguli, Priya M.
Swarzenski, Peter W.
Izbicki, John A.
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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.
© The Author(s), 2016. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 11 (2017): 219-233, doi:10.1016/j.ejrh.2016.08.003.
Suggested CitationJournal of Hydrology: Regional Studies 11 (2017): 219-233
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