Groundwater discharge, including submarine groundwater discharge, discharge to lakes and rivers, and subglacial discharge, affects freshwater and marine ecosystems across the globe. The implications for biogeochemistry include the transport of nutrients, metals, and gases to these systems. The Arctic is one region of the globe that has been understudied with respect to groundwater discharge until recently, when a handful of studies sought to understand the nature of groundwater discharge and its impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Those studies are summarized here, and the implications for biogeochemistry are synthesized. Carbon and nitrogen are the most frequently studied solutes with respect to groundwater discharge in the Arctic. The transport of carbon and nitrogen through groundwater discharge are discussed across study sites, and scientists expect their transport through this mechanism to significantly change with the onset of climate change. The Arctic is of special interest in terms of groundwater discharge, as climate change data predicts that it will warm faster than other environments. Lastly, the effects of climate change on the physical and biogeochemical aspects of groundwater discharge in the Arctic are discussed, as are research priorities.
College of Arts and Sciences
Lecher, A. L. (2017). Groundwater discharge in the Arctic: A review of studies and implications for biogeochemistry. Hydrology, 4(3), 41. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology4030041.