Scientists have recently recognized an imbalance in the flow of salty groundwater into the coastal ocean: considerable saltwater discharge into the ocean has been observed, but little or no return flow has been seen. Now it appears that the timing of the discharge may be key to the health of our coastal waters.
New measurements and models suggest that seasonal changes in the water table may provide clues to how water is exchanged and why the largest discharge occurs during the summer, when the coastal ocean may be most vulnerable to the dissolved chemicals in the groundwater because biological activity is at its highest and river inflow at its lowest.
Fresh and salty groundwater flows into coastal waters as submarine groundwater discharge and is an important source of nutrients, contaminants and trace elements to the coastal ocean. Recent research has revealed that a large portion of submarine groundwater discharge is saline water. Although this water was once ocean water, the mechanism controlling its flow into and out of the sediments has not been previously determined. Using seepage meters and geochemical tracers, scientists have directly measured and inferred groundwater flow from land to sea. But they have not previously been able to observe the opposite, large-scale flow or intrusion of seawater into coastal aquifers to balance this exchange.
Shelley Dawicki | EurekAlert!
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Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.
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A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.
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A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
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