Contemporary Methods for Quantifying Submarine Groundwater Discharge to Coastal Areas

  • Ram L. RayEmail author
  • Ahmet Dogan
Part of the Advances in Water Security book series (AWS)


Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD), which represents subsurface exchange of water between land and ocean, is a major component of the hydrological cycle. Until the mid-1990s, it was generally believed that SGD rates were not large enough to influence ocean water budgets. This thought might be due to the difficulty in quantifying rates of SGD, because most SGD occurs as diffusive flow, rather than discrete spring flow. However, there is a growing recognition that the submarine discharge of fresh groundwater into coastal oceans is just as important as river discharge in some areas of the coastal ocean. Due to growing ecological concerns about SGD, there is considerable progress on research about SGD with particular emphasis on how to quantify and trace the SGD, and to develop some forecasting or predictive capability of SGD rates based on climatic and seasonal effects. This chapter presents a comprehensive overview of the methods used to quantify SGD to coastal areas and summarizes the previous studies on SGD. In addition, this chapter also discusses driving forces of groundwater flow through coastal aquifers, mechanism of groundwater seawater interaction and some other important issues that are necessary to understand the methods for quantifying SGD in coastal areas. The main goal of this chapter is to provide an overview of the applied methodologies to quantify SGD in coastal areas, which in turn will allow researchers, coastal zone managers, and others to choose appropriate methods that meet their specific project requirements.


Submarine groundwater discharge SGD Seawater intrusion Coastal Coastal aquifer Coastal ecosystem Seepage meter Chemical tracer Spatial analysis 





Geographical information system


International Atomic Energy Agency


International Association of Physical Sciences of the Oceans


International Hydrological Program


Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission


Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone


Optical backscattering


Particulate matter concentration






Recirculated saline groundwater discharge


Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research


South East


Sulphur hexafluoride


Submarine fresh groundwater discharge


Submarine fresh groundwater discharge


Submarine groundwater recharge


Submarine porewater exchange


Thermal airborne broadband imager


Thermal infrared


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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cooperative Agricultural Research Center, College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, Prairie View A&M UniversityPrairie ViewUSA
  2. 2.Civil Engineering DepartmentHydraulics Lab, Yıldız Technical UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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