Investigation of Submarine Groundwater Discharge using Thermal Satellite and Radon mapping along the East Coast of the Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry Region, India
Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) demarcated as a significant component of hydrological cycle found to discharge greater volumes of terrestrial fresh and recirculated seawater to the ocean associated with chemical constituents (nutrients, metals, and organic compounds) aided by downward hydraulic gradient and sediment-water exchange. Delineating SGD is of primal significance due to the transport of nutrients and contaminants due to domestic, industrial, and agricultural practices that influence the coastal water quality, ecosystems, and geochemical cycles. An attempt has been made to demarcate the SGD using thermal infrared images and radon-222 (222Rn) isotope. Thermal infrared images processed from LANDSAT-8 data suggest prominent freshwater fluxes with higher temperature anomalies noted in Cuddalore and Nagapattinam districts, and lower temperature noted along northern and southern parts of the study area suggest saline/recirculated discharge. Groundwater samples were collected along the coastal regions to analyze Radon and Physico-chemical constituents. Radon in groundwater ranges between 127.39 Bq m-3 and 2643.41 Bq m-3 with an average of 767.80 Bq m-3. Calculated SGD fluxes range between -1.0 to 26.5 with an average of 10.32 m day-1. Comparison of the thermal infrared image with physio-chemical parameters and Radon suggest fresh, terrestrial SGD fluxes confined to the central parts of the study area and lower fluxes observed along with the northern and southern parts of the study area advocate impact due to seawater intrusion and recirculated seawater influence.
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