Model for Predicting the Transport and Dispersal of Contaminants Incoming with Submarine Groundwater: Case Study for the Southwestern Taiwan Coastal Zone


As was recognized recently, the submarine groundwater transports a significant amount of various contaminants into the coastal ocean. An assessment of the impact of intruded pollutants in the coastal ecosystems requires understanding fate of the pollutants and processes of their dispersal in ambient waters. In this paper, we proposed a 3-D coupled ocean circulation/particle-tracking model for predicting the transport and dispersal of pollution-containing groundwater discharged into a coastal environment of the southwestern Taiwan. The particle-tracking model takes currents and turbulent diffusivities predetermined by the ocean circulation model and uses the Lagrangian approach to predict the motion of individual droplets, the sum of which constitutes a contaminant plume in result of discharge of contaminant-rich submarine groundwater. The ocean circulation model was forced by tides and seasonal favorable winds for the south-western coast of Taiwan. The initialization of the coupled model was set using field data obtained in 2009 on the Ping-tung shelf where shallow aquifer seepages were discovered. Several types of numerical experiment scenarios were set up to elucidate the transport and dispersal of conservative and nonconservative (nitrate) contaminants in the shallow coastal zone. The comparison of obtained numerical results with observations performed by other researches was discussed.

Share and Cite:

K. Korotenko, P. Zavialov, R. Kao and C. Ding, "Model for Predicting the Transport and Dispersal of Contaminants Incoming with Submarine Groundwater: Case Study for the Southwestern Taiwan Coastal Zone," Open Journal of Marine Science, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2012, pp. 70-83. doi: 10.4236/ojms.2012.22010.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] E. A. Kontar and I. S. Zektser, “Submarine Discharge and Its Effect on Oceanic Processes in the Coastal Zone,” Water Resources, Vol. 26, 1999, p. 512.
[2] L. Li, D. A. Barry, F. Stagnitti and J.-Y. Parlange, “Submariane Groundwater Dis-charge and Associated Chemical Input to a Coastal Sea,” Water Resource Research, Vol. 35, No. 11, 1999, pp. 3253-3259. doi:10.1029/1999WR900189
[3] P. K. Weiskel and B. L. Howes, “Differential Transport of Sewage-Derived Nitrogen and Phosphorus Through a Coastal Watershed,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 26, No. 4, 1992, pp. 352-360. doi:10.1021/es00026a017
[4] J. W. Portonoy, B. L. Nowicki, C. T. Roman and D. W. Urish, “The Discharge of Nitrate Con-taminated Groundwater from Developed Shoreline to Marsh-Fringed Estuary,” Water Resources Research, Vol. 34, No. 11, 1998, pp. 3095-3104. doi:10.1029/98WR02167
[5] B. L. Nowicki, E. Requintina, D. Vankeuren and J. Portnoy, “The Role of Sediment Denitrification in Reducing Groundwa-ter-Derived Nitrate Inputs to Nauset Marsh Estuary, Cape Cod, Massachusetts,” Estuaries and Coasts, Vol. 22, No. 2, 1999, pp. 245-259. doi:10.2307/1352981
[6] L. F. H. Niencheski, H. L. Windom, W. S. Moore and R. A. Jahnke, “Submarine Groundwater Discharge of Nutrients to the Ocean along a Coastal Lagoon Barrier, Southern Brazil,” Marine Chemistry, Vol. 106, No. 3-4, 2007, pp. 546-561. doi.10.1016/j.marchem.2007.06.004
[7] K. D. Kroeger and M. A. Charette, “Nitrogen Biogeochemistry of Submarine Groundwater Discharge,” Limnology Oceanography, Vol. 53, No. 3, 2008, pp. 1025-1039.
[8] C.-T. A. Chen and S.-L. Wang, “Carbon, Alkalinity and Nutrient Budget on the East China Sea Continental Shelf,” Journal of Geophysical Re-search, Vol. 104, No. C9, 1999, pp. 20675-20869.
[9] C. P. Slomp and P. Van Cappellen, “Nutrient Inputs to the Coastal Ocean through Submarine Groundwater Discharge: Controls and Potential Impact,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 295, No. 1-4, 2004, pp. 64-86. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.02.018
[10] E. A. Kontar and W. C. Burnett, “Study of Groundwater Discharge to the Coastal Zone and Evaluation of Potential Earthquakes,” Proceedings of In-ternational Conference on Marine Environment, the Past, Pre-sent and Future, National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, 26-28 January 1999.
[11] R.-M. Wang, C.-F. You, H.-Y. Chu and J.-J. Hung, “Seasonal Variability of Dissolved Major and Trace Elements in the Gaoping (Kaoping) River Estuary, Southwestern Taiwan,” Journal Marine Systyem, Vol. 76, No. 4, 2009, pp. 444-456. doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2007.11.012
[12] I.-T. Lin, C.-H. Wang, C.-F. You, S. Lin, K.-F. Huang and Y.-G. Chen, “Deep Subma-rine Groundwater Discharge Indicated by Tracers of Oxygen, Strontium Isotopes and Barium Content in the Pingtung Coastal Zone, Southern Taiwan,” Marine Chemistry, Vol. 122, No. 1-4, 2010, pp. 51-58. doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2010.08.007
[13] I.-T. Lin, C.-H. Wang, S. Lin and Y.-G. Chen, “Groundwa-ter-Seawater Interactions off the Coast of Southern Taiwan: Evidence from Environmental Isotopes,” Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, Vol. 41, 2011, pp. 250-262. doi:10.1016/j.jseaes.2011.03.001
[14] M. S. Andersen, L. Baron, J. Gudbjerg, J. Gregersen, D. Chapellier, R. Jakobsen and D. Postma, “Discharge of Nitrate-Containing Groundwater into a Coastal Marine Environment,” Journal of Hydrology, Vol. 336, No. 1-2, 2007, pp. 98-114. doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2006.12.023
[15] Y. Uchiyama, K. Nadaoka, R. P. Peter, K. Adachi and H. Yagi, “Submarine Groundwater Discharge into the Sea and Associated Nutrient Transport in a Sandy Beach,” Water Resource Research, Vol. 36, No. 6, 2000, pp. 1467-1479. doi:10/1029/2000WR900029
[16] C. Spiteri, C. P. Slomp, K. Tuncay and C. Meile, “Modeling Biogeochemical Processes in Subterranean Estuaries: Effect of Flow Dynamics and Redox Conditions on Submarine Groundwater Discharge of Nutri-ents,” Water Resource Research, Vol. 44, 2008, Article ID: W04701. doi:10.1029/2007WR006071
[17] C. Leote, J. S. Ibanhez and C. Rocha, “Submarine Groundwater Discharge as a Nitrogen Source to the Ria Formosa Studied with Seepage Meters,” Biogeochemistry, Vol. 88, No. 2, 2008, pp. 185-194. doi:10.1007/s10533-008-9204-9
[18] R. Santos, W. C. Burnett, T. Dittmar, I. G. N. A. Suryaputra and J. Chanton, “Tidal Pumping Drives Nutrient and Dissolved Organic Matter Dynamics in a Gulf of Mexico Subterranean Estuary,” Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 73, No. 5, 2009, pp. 1325-1339. doi:10.1016/j.gca.2008.11.029
[19] I.-H. Lee, R.-C. Lien, J. T. Liu, W.-S. Chuang and J. Xu, “Turbulent Mixing and Internal Tides in Gaoping (Kaoping) Submarine Canyon,” Journal of Marine Systems, Vol. 76, 2009, pp. 383-396. doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2007.12.011
[20] Y. H. Wang, I. H. Lee and J. T. Liu, “Observation of Internal Tidal Currents in the Kaoping Canyon off Southwestern Taiwan. Estuarine,” Estua-rine, Coastal and Shelf Science, Vol. 80, 2008, pp. 153-160. doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2008.07.016
[21] P. O. Zavialov, R.-C. Kao, V. V. Kremenetskiy, V. I. Peresypkin, C.-F. Ding, R.-T. Hsu, O. V. Kopelevich, K. A. Korotenko, Y.-S. Wu and P. Chen, “Evidence for Submarine Groundwater Discharge on the South-western Shelf of Taiwan,” Coastal Shelf Research, Vol. 4, 2012, pp. 18-25. doi: 10.1016/j.csr.2011.11.010
[22] Intergovernmental Oceano-graphic Commission, “Submarine Groundwater Discharge: Management Implications, Measurements, and Effects,” IOC Manuals and Guides, Vol. 44, 2004.
[23] K. A. Korotenko, R. M. Mamedov and C. N. K. Mooers, “Prediction of the Disper-sal of Oil Transport in the Caspian Sea Resulting from a Continuous Release,” Spill Science and Technology Bulletin, Vol. 5-6, 2001, pp. 323-339. doi:10.1016/S1353-2561 (01)00050-0
[24] K. A. Korotenko, “Warfare Chemicals Dumped in the Baltic Sea: Modeling Transport Processes of Pollution Resulting from Possible Leakages,” Oceanology, Vol. 43, No. 1, 2003, pp. 11-23.
[25] K. A. Korotenko, R. M. Ma-medov, A. E. Kontar and L. A. Korotenko, “Particle Tracking Method in the Approach for Prediction of Oil Slick Transport in the Sea: Modelling oil Pollution Resulting from River In-put,” Journal of Marine Systems, Vol. 48, No. 1-4, 2004, pp. 159-170. doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2003.11.023
[26] K. A. Korotenko and A. V. Sentchev, “Effects of Particle Migration on the Features of Their Transport by Tidal Currents in a Region of Freshwater Influence,” Oceanology, Vol. 48, No. 5, 2008, pp. 622-633. doi:10.1134/S0001437008050020
[27] K. A. Korotenko, M. J. Bowman and D. E. Dietrich, “High-Resolution Model for Pre-dicting the Transport and Dispersal of Oil Plumes Resulting from Accidental Discharges in the Black Sea,” Recent Ad-vances in Numerical Ocean Modeling and Prediction, Terrestrial Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, Vol. 21, 2010, pp. 123-136. doi:10.3319/TAO.2009.04.24.01(IWNOP)
[28] V. Sentchev and K. A. Korotenko, “Stratification and Tidal Current Effects on Larval Transport in the Eastern English Channel: Observa-tions and 3D Modeling,” Environmental Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 4, No. 3, 2004, pp. 305-331. doi:10.1023/B:EFMC.0000024246.39646.1d
[29] V. Sentchev and K. A. Korotenko, “Dispersion Processes and Transport Pattern in the ROFI System of the Eastern English Channel Derived from a Particle-Tracking Model,” Continental Shelf Research, Vol. 25, No. 16, 2005, pp. 2294-2308.doi:10.1016/j.csr.2005.09.003
[30] V. Sentchev and K. A. Korotenko, “Modeling Distribution of Flounder Larvae in the Eastern English Channel: Sensitivity to Physical Forcing and Biological Behavior,” Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 347, 2007, pp. 233-245. doi:10.3354/meps06981
[31] F. Blumberg and G. L. Mellor, “A Description of a Three-Dimensional Hydrodynamic Model of New York Harbor Region,” Journal Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 125, 1987, pp. 799-816.
[32] B. W. J. Kern, Y.-L. Chen and M.-Y. Chang, “The Diurnal Cycle of Winds, Rain, and Clouds over Taiwan during the Mey-Yu, Summer, and Autumn Rainfall Regimes," Monthly Weather Review, Vol. 138, No. 2, 2010, pp. 497-516. doi:10.1175/2009MWR3031.1
[33] S. Levitus, “World Ocean Atlas//NOAA Atlas,” US Department of Commerce. NOAA/NODC, 2009.
[34] J. Hunter, C. Craig and H. Phillips, “On the Use of Random-Walk Models with Spatially-Variable Diffusivity,” Journal of Computational Physics, Vol. 106, No. 2, 1993, pp. 366-376. doi:10.1016/S0021- 9991(83)71114-9
[35] A. Visser, “Using Random Walk Models to Simulate the Vertical Distribution of Particles in a Turbulent Water Column,” Marine Ecology Pro-gress Series, Vol. 158, 1997, pp. 275-281. doi:10.3354/meps15827
[36] G. L Mellor and T. Yamada, “Development of a Turbulence Closure Model for Geophysical Fluid Problems,” Review of Geophysics Space Physics, Vol. 20, No. 4, 1982, pp. 851-875. doi:10.1029/ RG020i004p00851
[37] J. J. Coering and J. D. Cline, “A Note on Denitrification in Seawater,” Limnology and Oceanography, Vol. 15, 1970, pp. 306-309.
[38] K. A. Korotenko and A. V. Sentchev, “Turbulence Investigation in a Tidal Coastal Region,” Oceanology, Vol. 51, No. 3, 2011, pp. 394-406. doi:10.1134/S000143701103012X

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.