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Groundwater-derived nutrient and trace element transport to a nearshore Kona coral ecosystem: Experimental mixing model results

June 30, 2016

Study region

The groundwater influenced coastal waters along the arid Kona coast of the Big Island, Hawai’i.

Study focus

A salinity-and phase partitioning-based mixing experiment was constructed using contrasting groundwater endmembers along the arid Konacoast of the Big Island, Hawai’i and local open seawater to better understand biogeochemical and physicochemical processes that influence the fate of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD)-derived nutrients and trace elements.

New Hydrological Insights for the Region

Treated wastewater effluent was the main source for nutrient enrichment downstream at the Honokōhau Harbor site. Conservative mixing for some constituents, such as nitrate + nitrite, illustrate the effectiveness of physical mixing to maintain oceanic concentrations in the colloid (0.02–0.45 μm) and truly dissolved (