Connecting Groundwater and Surface Water Sources in Groundwater Dependent Coastal Wetlands and Estuaries: Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Quintana Roo, Mexico
Groundwater and surface water samples were collected in five different regions of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve (SKBR) along the eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Quintana Roo, Mexico. Samples were analyzed for major ions, total phosphorus, total nitrogen, δ18O, and δ2H. Chemical modeling and a coupled principal component analysis and end-member mixing model were used to identify three groundwater sources that discharge to the coastal wetlands and estuaries of the SKBR. A sulfate-dominated and a calcium-dominated fresh groundwater source were found to contribute significantly to the headwaters of a southern and northern SKBR estuary, respectively. In the northern part of the Reserve, an elevated road disrupts the flow of freshwater through the estuarine zone creating hypersaline conditions and mangrove dead-zones. In a more pristine estuary to the south, coastal groundwater discharge associated with petens (tree islands) accounted for ∼20 % of the surface water in the mid-estuary. This coastal groundwater discharge from the petens adds a significant amount of phosphorus to the surface water in the estuary relative to the upstream and downstream sources. The lower alkalinity measured in the surface water relative to the high-alkalinity groundwater, despite clear indication of groundwater discharge, suggests that inorganic carbon export through degassing of CO2 could represent important carbon process in mangrove ecosystems. Our results indicate an important groundwater discharge mechanism that may facilitate nutrient delivery to karstic, oligotrophic estuaries when upland and marine nutrient supplies are depleted.
KeywordsGroundwater discharge Oligotrophic Eutrophic Phosphorus Mangroves Hypersaline
This research was supported directly by the National Science Foundation through the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research program under Grant No. DBI-0620409 and the NASA WaterSCAPES program under Grant No. NNX-10AQ13A. Field and travel support were provided by the Comisión Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP) and Amigos de Sian Ka’an in Cancun, Mexico; and the Centro de Investigacion y de Estudios Avanzados (CINVESTAV) Unidad Merida in Merida, Mexico. Additional financial support was provided by the Florida Education Fund McKnight Dissertation Year Fellowship. This is contribution number 690 from the Southeast Environmental Research Center at Florida International University.
- Bauer-Gottwein, P., B.N. Gondwe, G. Charvet, L. Maran, M. Rebolledo-Vieyra, and G. Merediz-Alonso. 2011. Review: the Yucatan Peninsula karst aquifer, Mexico. Hydrogeology Journal. 19: 507–524. doi: 10.1007/s10040-010-0699-5.
- Beddows, P.A. 2004. Groundwater hydrology of a coastal conduit carbonate aquifer: Caribbean Coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University.Google Scholar
- Beddows, P.A., P.L. Smart, F.F. Whitaker, and S.L. Smith. 2007. Decoupled fresh–saline groundwater circulation of a coastal carbonate aquifer: spatial patterns of temperature and specific electrical conductivity. Journal of Hydrology 346: 18–32. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2007.08.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Bouillon, S., A.V. Borges, E. Castañeda Moya, K. Diele, T. Dittmar, N.C. Duke, E. Kristensen, S.Y. Lee, C. Marchand, J.J. Middelburg, V.H. Rivera-Monroy, T.J. Smith III, R.R. Twilley. 2008. Mangrove production and carbon sinks: a revision of global budget estimates. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 22(2). doi: 10.1029/2007GB003052.
- Doctor, D., E.C. Alexander, M. Petriä•, J. Kogovå¡ek, J. Urbanc, S. Lojen, and W. Stichler. 2006. Quantification of karst aquifer discharge components during storm events through end-member mixing analysis using natural chemistry and stable isotopes as tracers. Hydrogeology Journal 14: 1171–1191. doi: 10.1007/s10040-006-0031-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Garrett, C. G., V. M. Vulava, T. J. Callahan, and M. L. Jones (2012). Groundwater–surface water interactions in a lowland watershed: source contribution to stream flow. Hydrological Processes. 3195, doi: 10.1002/hyp.8257.
- Gondwe, B.R.N., S. Lerer, S. Stisen, L. Marín, M. Rebolledo-Vieyra, G. Merediz-Alonso, and P. Bauer-Gottwein. 2010. Hydrogeology of the south-eastern Yucatan Peninsula: new insights from water level measurements, geochemistry, geophysics and remote sensing. Journal of Hydrology 389: 1–17. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.04.044.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Herrera-Silveira, J.A., F.A. Comin, N. Aranda-Cirerol, L. Troccoli, and L. Capurro. 2004. Coastal water quality assesment in the Yucatan Peninsula: management implications. Ocean and Coastal Management 47: 625–639.Google Scholar
- Lachniet, M.S., and W.P. Patterson. 2009. Oxygen isotope values of precipitation and surface waters in northern central America (Belize and Guatemala) are dominated by temperature and amount effects. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 284: 435–446. doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2009.05.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lesser, J. 1976. Estudio hidrogeologico e hidrogeoquimico de la Peninsula de Yucatan. Proyecto Conacyt-NSF 704:Google Scholar
- Liu, F., M. W. Williams and N. Caine. 2004. Source waters and flow paths in an alpine catchment, Colorado Front Range, USA. Water Resources Research. 40: W09401, doi: 10.1029/2004WR003076
- Marfia, A.M., R.V. Krishnamurthy, E.A. Atekwana, and W.F. Panton. 2004. Isotopic and geochemical evolution of ground and surface waters in a karst dominated geological setting: a case study from Belize, Central America. Applied Geochemistry 19: 937–946. doi: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2003.10.013.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Metcalfe, C.D., P.A. Beddows, G.G. Bouchot, T.L. Metcalfe, H. Li, and H. Van Lavieren. 2011. Contaminants in the coastal karst aquifer system along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula Mexico. Journal of Environmental Pollution. 159: 991–997. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2010.11.031.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Mutchler, T., K.H. Dunton, A. Townsend-Small, S. Fredriksen, and M.K. Rasser. 2007. Isotopic and elemental indicators of nutrient sources and status of coastal habitats in the Caribbean Sea, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 74: 449–457. doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2007.04.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Olmsted, I. C., and R. Duran. 1990. Vegetacion de Sian Ka’an. In D. Navarro and J. Robinson [eds.], Diversidad Biologica en Sian Ka’an, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Programs for Studies in Tropical Conservation, University of Florida.Google Scholar
- Parkhurst, D.L. and C.A.J. Appelo. 1999. User's guide to PHREEQC (version 2) - a computer program for speciation, reaction-path, 1Dtransport, and inverse geochemical calculations. US Geolological Survery Water Resources Investigation Report 99–4259, 312pGoogle Scholar
- Perry, E., L. Marin, J. McClain, and G. Velazquez. 1995. Ring of Cenotes (sinkholes), northwest Yucatan, Mexico: its hydrogeologic characteristics and possible association with the Chicxulub impact crater. Geology 23: 17–20. doi: 10.1130/0091-7613(1995)023<0017:ROCSNY>2.3.CO;2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Perry, E. M., G. Velazquez-Oliman, and R. A. Socki. 2003. Hydrogeology of the Yucatan Peninsula, p. 115–138. In A. Gomez-Pompa, M. F. Allen, S. L. Fedick and J. J. Jimenez-Osornio [eds.], The Lowland Mayan Area: Three Millennia at the Human-Wildland Interface. Food Products Press.Google Scholar
- Perry, E. C., Velazquez-Oliman, G., and Wagner, N. 2011. Preliminary investigation of groundwater and surface water geochemistry in Campeche and southern Quintana Roo. In Water Resources in México: Scarcity, Degradation, Stress, Conflicts, Management and Policy. Ursula Oswald Spring Ed. Springer-Verlag. 522p. pp 87–97Google Scholar
- Pope, K. O., A. C. Ocampo, A. G. Fischer, F. J. Vega, D. E. Ames, D. T. King, B. W. Fouke, R. J. Wachtman, and G. Kletetschka (2005). Chicxulub impact ejecta deposits in southern Quintana Roo, Mexico, and central Belize, p. 171. In T. Kenkman, F. Horz and A. Deutsch [eds.], Large meterorite impacts III. Geological Society of America.Google Scholar
- Salinas-Prieto, J. C., J. M. Escobar, E. Sanchez-Rojas, C. Diaz-Salgado, A. de la Calleja, D. Barajas-Nigoche, and E. Salgado-Dorantes. 2007. Carta geológica de MéxicoGoogle Scholar
- Sanford, W. E. and L. F. Konikow. 1989. Porosity development in coastal carbonate aquifers. Geology. 17: 249–252, doi: 10.1130/0091-7613(1989)017<0249:PDICCA>2.3.CO;2.
- Sherman, R.E., T.J. Fahey, and R.W. Howarth. 1998. Soil-plant interaction in neotropical mangrove forest: Iron, phosphorus and sulfur dynamics. Oecologia 115: 553–563.Google Scholar
- Solórzano, L., and J.H. Sharp. 1980. Determination of total dissolved phosphorus and particulate phosphorus in natural water. Limnology and Oceanography 24(4): 754–758. doi: 10.4319/lo.1980.25.4.0754.
- Valdes, D.S., and E. Real. 2004. Nitrogen and phosphorus in water and sediments at Ria Lagartos coastal lagoon, Yucatan Gulf of Mexico. Indian Journal of Marine Sciences. 33: 338–345.Google Scholar
- Vervier, P., L. Roques, M. A. Baker, F. Garabetian and P. Auriol. 2002. Biodegradation of dissolved free simple carbohydrates in surface, hyporheic and riparian waters of a large river. 153: 595–604.Google Scholar
- Vulava, V. M., C. G. Garrett, C. L. Ginnn and T. J. Callahan. 2008. Application of geochemical end-member mixing analysis to delineate water sources in a lowland watershed. Proceedings of the 2008 South Carolina Water Resources Conference. 1–4Google Scholar
- Ward, W.C. 1985. Quaternary geology of northeastern Yucatán Peninsula. In Geology and hydrogeology of Northeastern Yucatán and Quaternary Geology of Northeastern Yucatan. 23–95, ed. W.C. Ward, A.E. Weidie, and W. Back, 23–95. New Orleans, LA: New Orleans Geological Society.Google Scholar