Topic: The Unseen Contributor: Investigations into Submarine Groundwater Discharge in the Gulf of Alaska
Speaker: Aeon Russo, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage Abstract:
Coastal aquifers play an essential role in near-shore ecosystems by providing disproportionately high fluxes of nutrients and solutes via submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) pathways. SGD from coastal aquifers remains markedly understudied in the Gulf of Alaska (GoA), although it has gained in- creasing attention globally due to its enriched composition and influence on coastal productivity. In this talk, I will describe a catchment-scale experimental field site in Kachemak Bay, Alaska. This research has applied a suite of multidisciplinary methods to thoroughly represent the complexity of coastal aquifers in proglacial environments currently undergoing rapid transformations. I will present results from our hydrogeologic (grain size analyses, aquifer tests, and tidal response analyses), geochemical (sampling for major ions and stable water isotopes), and geophysical (electrical resistivity tomography and horizontal-to-vertical spectral ratio analyses) investigations. This approach may be applied for low-cost, large-scale hydrogeologic studies in coastal areas across the GoA, and may be particularly useful for remote sites where access and mobility are challenging. I will also provide the first recently published regional estimates of fresh SGD to the GoA using two water balance modeling approaches. An improved understanding of these systems is necessary to guide effective water resource management decisions for the protection of these economically, culturally, and ecologically significant resources.
Speaker Bio: Aeon Russo is a Research Professional working for Dr. LeeAnn Munk’s lab in the Department of Geological Sciences at UAA where he conceptualizes and implements research projects on the hydrogeochemistry of coastal waters with a focus on terrestrial freshwater, nutrient, and elemental transport to coastal margins. Aeon received two bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Science and Quantitative Geoscience from Appalachian State University in North Carolina before receiving an M.Sc. in Hydrogeology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His work in hydrogeology focuses on both surface and subsurface water to examine how subarctic water resources are evolving in a changing climate. He uses a combination of field instrumentation, geophysics, remote sensing, geochemical sampling, and numerical modeling as tools to identify and address modern, big-picture issues. His curiosity and fascination with the hydrosphere began as a river guide and avid whitewater kayaker, and you can still find him exploring the remote rivers and recharge areas of Alaska on the weekends.
In-Person or Virtual Meeting Online
TIME: Doors open 11 am, announcements 11:15 am, talk 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
LOCATION for In-Person: BP Energy Center, Birth Room, 1014 Energy Court, Anchorage
LOCATION for Online: Your home or office.
COST: Free. Bring your lunch to the lecture or your computer.