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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-621
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
01 Dec 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).
Timing of land–ocean groundwater nutrient fluxes from a tropical karstic region (southern Java, Indonesia)
Till Oehler1, Elisabeth Eiche2, Doni Putra3, Dini Adyasari1, Hanna Hennig4, Ulf Mallast4, and Nils Moosdorf1 1Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Fahrenheitstraße 6, 28359 Bremen, Germany
2Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Adenauerring 20b, 76131 Karlsruhe, Germany
3Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), Jl. Grafika 2, 55281, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
4Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research GmbH (UFZ), Theodor-Lieser-Strasse 4, 06120 Halle, Germany
Abstract. In tropical karstic regions, knowledge about the timing and quantity of land–ocean groundwater nutrient fluxes is important, as those nutrients may affect coastal ecosystems and contaminate coastal springs. High aquifer permeability of the karst, combined with high recharge and discharge during heavy rain events, leads to a close connectivity between groundwater in the hinterland and the coastal zone. The alteration between drier periods and heavy rain events can lead to a high temporal variability of groundwater discharge associated nutrient fluxes from the hinterland towards the coast. We studied the timing of land-ocean groundwater nutrient fluxes in the tropical karstic region of Gunung Kidul (southern Java Indonesia) from November 2015 until December 2016. Satellite infrared imagery revealed two major areas of direct submarine and coastal groundwater discharge. δ18O and δD signatures, nutrient concentrations, combined with precipitation and groundwater discharge data, indicate a rapid groundwater recharge and transport from the catchment area towards the coastal ocean. Measured groundwater discharge rates varied from less than 1 m3/s up to 16.6 m3/s and were dominantly controlled by recharge in the hinterland and surface infiltration during the rainy season. Nitrate fluxes ranged from 5 × 103 to 139 × 103 mol/day and DSi fluxes from 50 × 103 to 310 × 103 mol/day. High nitrate concentrations coinciding with phases of high discharge lead to particularly high nitrate fluxes. This counter intuitive temporal connection might be due to fertilization during the onset of the wet season and the retention of nutrients from untreated sewage in the soil and in sinkholes during dryer periods, which are then washed into the aquifer during heavy rain events. In the tropical karstic region of southern Java, extraordinarily high land-ocean nutrient fluxes occur therefore during the onset of periods with high discharge, which makes coastal water and coastal springs prone to contamination during this time, while flood recession and dry periods are characterized by lower nutrient fluxes. In tropical karstic regions the timing of land–ocean groundwater nutrient fluxes is thus highly variable, which may lead to ecological implications. High nutrient fluxes during certain times of the year may explain the sudden occurrence of harmful algae blooms in coastal environments and have to be considered in coastal groundwater management.

Citation: Oehler, T., Eiche, E., Putra, D., Adyasari, D., Hennig, H., Mallast, U., and Moosdorf, N.: Timing of land–ocean groundwater nutrient fluxes from a tropical karstic region (southern Java, Indonesia), Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-621, in review, 2017.
Till Oehler et al.
Till Oehler et al.

Data sets

Hydrochemical data from subsurface rivers, coastal and submarine springsin a karstic region in southern Java.
T. Oehler
https://doi.pangaea.de/10.1594/PANGAEA.882178
Till Oehler et al.

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Short summary
In the tropical karstic region of Gunung Kidul (southern Java, Indonesia) we observed high nutrient fluxes via groundwater discharge into the adjacent Indian Ocean during heavy rain events, which followed drier periods. Untreated sewage and fertilizers may contribute to high nutrient concentrations in groundwater. Identifying the timing of the groundwater nutrient fluxes is relevant for coastal groundwater management and may explain the sudden occurrence of harmful algae blooms in such settings.
In the tropical karstic region of Gunung Kidul (southern Java, Indonesia) we observed high...
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