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The importance of submarine groundwater discharge for the southwestern Baltic Sea (SGDBALTIC)
Start date: Sep 1, 2011, End date: Aug 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), i.e. the subsurface flow of water to the sea, is now considered as an important pathway for dissolved matter transfer from the continent to the sea. Although several studies indicate that a considerable part of unmonitored waters enter the Baltic Sea, the importance of SGD is poorly studied. We propose to survey the southwestern Baltic Sea for SGD and to measure the associated fluxes of nutrients, selected major and trace elements. These studies should allow an assessment on the importance of SGD for eutrophication and thus for the coastal ecosystem in the area investigated. In order to better understand the chemical reactions determining the chemical composition of SGD we will investigate the subsurface mixing zone between freshwater and groundwater (subterranean estuary). This research will enhance our knowledge on continent-ocean connections and the expected results will be important for other coastal regions in Europe.
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