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Home | Tampa Bay Study | Data | Groundwater

This page is archived and is no longer being maintained. Content was last updated in 2015. For current research, visit http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/.
Tampa Bay Study | Data | Task 2: Water & Sediment Quality - Biogeochemical Cycles | Groundwater

Groundwater is an important potential source of freshwater to waterways and coastal areas, particularly in Florida where groundwater is so near the earth's surface. The influence of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) on the estuarine processes of Tampa Bay was a primary focus of US Geological Survey scientists and collaborators at Wayne State University during this study. USGS scientists focused on the presence and quantities of chemical constituents and radionuclides within the water column, sediment porewater, nearby groundwater and rivers in order to calculate the likely sources and quantities of SGD to Tampa Bay and its tributaries. Since groundwater can be a potential source of contaminants to the bay, and vice versa, knowledge of how groundwater and surface water interact not only improved our ability to model hydrologic processes, but can also improve our ongoing ability to manage bay water and sediment quality.

Data on Ra and Rn isotopes, short-lived radionuclides (234Th, 7Be, 210Pb) and uranium were collected at 17 sites located in Tampa Bay, including additional data collected in the Alafia River and nearby groundwater. Data was collected from both the water column and the sediment porewater of the bay sites.

 What is a radionuclide?

A radionuclide (also known as a radioactive nuclide, radioactive isotope, or radioisotope) is an unstable atom that undergoes decay by emitting subatomic particles. By using the quantity and decay rate of different radionuclides found in the environment, scientists can improve their understanding of the movement, sources and flow rates of water. Radionuclides also serve as markers for tracing and analyzing pollutants.
Tampa Bay Study: Groundwater and Data Collection Sites
Tampa Bay Electrical Resistivity profiles and trackline

Related Products:

Groundwater-surface water data for Tampa Bay (Metadata)

The Impact of Groundwater and Contaminants on Tampa Bay (USGS Open-File Report 2005-1015, January 2005)

Selected Isotopes Data of Tampa Bay (Metadata)

Refereed Publications:

Baskaran, M. and P.W. Swarzenski. 2006. Seasonal variations on the residence times and partitioning of short-lived radionuclides (234Th, 7Be, 210Pb) and depositional fluxes of 7Be and 210Pb in Tampa Bay, Florida. Marine Chemistry.
Swarzenski, P.W. and M. Baskaran. 2006. Uranium distribution in the coastal waters and pore waters of Tampa Bay, Florida. Marine Chemistry.
Swarzenski, P.W., C. Reich, K.D. Kroeger, and M. Baskaran. 2007. Ra and Rn isotopes as natural tracers of submarine groundwater discharge in Tampa Bay, Florida. Marine Chemistry.

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Gulf of Mexico Integrated Science
URL of this page is: http://gulfsci.usgs.gov/tampabay/data/2_biogeochemical_cycles/groundwater.html
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