Geochemical fluxes in sandy beach aquifers: Modulation due to major physical stressors, geologic heterogeneity, and nearshore morphology

Xiaolong Geng, James W. Heiss, Holly A. Michael, Hailong Li, Britt Raubenheimer, Michel C. Boufadel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Coastal beach aquifers are biogeochemically active systems that mediate chemical and material fluxes across the land-sea interface. This paper provides a review of major physical stressors and geologic features that influence flow and solute fate and transport in coastal beach aquifers. We outline current understanding of the interactions between these factors and their associated impacts on water and geochemical fluxes within and across these aquifers. The physical processes that control flow, transport, and the formation and distribution of reactive zones in beach aquifers (e.g., tides, waves, density gradients, precipitation, episodic ocean events, and evaporation) operate across overlapping temporal and spatial scales, and present challenges for measuring and modeling physical flow and biogeochemical processes in coastal groundwater systems. Geologic heterogeneity introduces further complexity by modifying flowpaths, mixing patterns, and rates of biotransformation. Interactions between these physical stressors and geological controls are likely to evolve with changes in sea level, climate variability, human settlement, coastal erosion, and other natural and anthropogenic stresses, providing avenues for scientific exploration into the future role of beach aquifers as chemical mediators between the land and ocean.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103800
JournalEarth-Science Reviews
Volume221
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Keywords

  • Evaporation
  • Geochemical fluxes
  • Geologic Heterogeneity
  • Sandy coastal aquifers
  • Shoreline morphology and bathymetry
  • Submarine groundwater discharge
  • Tides and waves
  • Vadose zone processes

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