https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology5010015

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Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-2018

Abstract

Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) is an important source of nutrients to coastal ecosystems. The flux of nutrients associated with SGD is governed by the volumetric discharge of groundwater and the concentrations of nutrients in groundwater within the coastal aquifer. Nutrient concentrations in the coastal aquifer, in turn, are controlled by processes such as mixing, precipitation, adsorption-desorption, the decay of organic material, and nitrogen-fixation/denitrification. In this study, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was applied to groundwater and ocean water nutrient concentration data from Monterey Bay, California, to identify and rank processes controlling coastal aquifer nutrient concentrations. Mixing with seawater, denitrification, the decay of organic matter, and desorption of phosphate were determined to be the three most important processes accounting for 39%, 19%, 14%, and 12% of the variability, respectively. This study shows how PCA can be applied to SGD studies to quantify the relative contribution of different processes controlling nutrient concentrations in coastal aquifers.

Publication

Hydrology

Publisher

MDPI

City/State

Basel, Switzerland

Volume

5

Issue

1

Pages

15

Department

College of Arts and Sciences

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Comments

Received: 28 December 2017 / Revised: 1 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 7 February 2018


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