Combining airborne thermal infrared images and radium isotopes to study submarine groundwater discharge along the French Mediterranean coastline

Abstract : Study region: The French Mediterranean coastline, which includes karstic springs discharging into coastal seas and coastal lagoons. Study focus: We investigated submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), an important vector for many chemical elements that may impact the quality of the coastal environment. First, we acquired airborne thermal infrared (TIR) images to detect terrestrial groundwater inputs. Then we report in situ data (salinity; temperature; radium isotopes). We use these data i) to confirm the presence of groundwater discharge and to characterize the different systems, and ii) to quantify SGD fluxes and estimate the residence time of the water bodies. New hydrological insights for the region: Few studies have been conducted on SGD along the French Mediterranean coastline. The terrestrial groundwater spring inputs in La Palme and Salses6Leucate coastal lagoons are in the range (0.04-0.11) m(3) s(-1), <= 2% of the local river inputs. In comparison, total SGD estimates to La Palme lagoon (0.56-1.7 m(3) s(-1)) suggest that the recirculation of lagoon water through the sediment is two orders of magnitude greater than the terrestrial groundwater inputs. At the Calanque of Port-Miou, the terrestrial groundwater flux to the coastal seas was between 0.6 and 1.2 m(3) s(-1) in July 2009. This study demonstrates the application of airborne TIR remote sensing for detecting surficial groundwater springs, and the inability of the method to detect deeper, submerged springs.
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Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 2017, 13, pp.72-90. 〈10.1016/j.ejrh.2017.08.001〉
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Simon Bejannin, Pieter Beek, Thomas Stieglitz, Marc Souhaut, Joseph Tamborski. Combining airborne thermal infrared images and radium isotopes to study submarine groundwater discharge along the French Mediterranean coastline. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 2017, 13, pp.72-90. 〈10.1016/j.ejrh.2017.08.001〉. 〈hal-01765611〉

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