Salinity distribution in the subterranean estuary of a meso-tidal high-energy beach characterized by Electrical Resistivity Tomography and direct push technology

Nele Grünenbaum, Thomas Günther, Janek Greskowiak, Thomas Vienken, Mike Müller-Petke, Gudrun Massmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Understanding the interaction of terrestrial freshwater and seawater in the subterranean estuary (STE) is an important factor when considering nutrient fluxes from land to sea. State-of-the-art research describes the STE by a tide-induced upper saline recirculation cell, a freshwater discharge tube and a deep saltwater wedge. However, recent numerical modelling and shallow hydrogeochemical investigations for high-energy beaches indicate that multiple saline recirculation cells may exist and affect the land-sea interaction. Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) and Direct Push (DP) technologies are common tools to explore the subsurface. Due to their sensitivity to the electrical conductivity of pore water, they permit investigating the STE. This study combines ERT and DP to image the salinity distribution within the STE of a meso-tidal, high-energy beach. We actively incorporate the DP data into the ERT inversion and use geostatistical regularization for closing the resolution gap. For the first time, our experimental results confirm the existence of several 10–20 m deep reaching upper saline recirculation cells and corresponding brackish discharge locations generated by a pronounced runnel-ridge beach system in 2019, whereas in 2021 only a single cell was displayed for a flat topography at the time.

Original languageEnglish
Article number129074
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Volume617
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Direct Push
  • Electrical Resistivity Tomography
  • High-energy beach
  • Mesotidal
  • Subterranean estuary

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