Coastal Hydrogeology Research

We are working to understand how geologic, hydrologic, and geochemical processes interact in coastal groundwater systems to produce fluxes of water and solutes between aquifers and coastal waters. In Indian River Bay, DE (below), we are using many different techniques to characterize these subsurface and sub-estuarine processes.

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We have characterized the influence of a paleochannel feature on subsurface salinity and groundwater discharge into the bay. Below are maps of the thickness of the paleochannel feature (determined by CHIRP seismic profiling done by David Krantz and Joel Banaszak at the University of Toledo) and the subsurface salinity distribution (determined by offshore streaming resistivity done by John Bratton and others at the US Geological Survey):

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In this bottom panel, warm colors represent fresher porewater under the bayfloor and cool colors (purple) represent more saline porewater.

The small dots are locations where we measured groundwater discharge with seepage meters (here is a picture of us with seepage meter bags):

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This is a photo of offshore drilling with the Delaware Geological Survey:

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Coring in the marsh at Holts Landing State Park:

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Wave- and Tide-Induced Groundwater Circulation in Beaches, Cape Henlopen, DE

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PUBLICATIONS:

Russoniello, CJ and HA Michael (2014) Investigation of seepage meter measurements in steady flow and wave conditions, Groundwater, in press.

Heiss, JW and HA Michael (2014) Saltwater-freshwater mixing dynamics in a sandy beach aquifer on tidal, spring-neap, and seasonal cycles, Water Resources Research, doi: 10.1002/2014WR015574.

Sawyer, AH, O Lazareva, KD Kroeger, K Crespo, CS Chan, T Stieglitz, and  HA Michael (2014) Stratigraphic controls on fluid and solute fluxes across the sediment-water interface of an estuary, Limnology & Oceanography, 59(3) 997–1010, doi: 10.4319/lo.2014.59.3.0997.

Heiss, JW, WJ Ullman, and HA Michael (2014) Swash zone moisture dynamics and unsaturated infiltration in two sandy beach aquifers, Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, doi: 10.1016/j.ecss.2014.03.015.

Russoniello, CJ, C Fernandez, JF Bratton, DE Krantz, JF Banaszak, AS Andres, LF Konikow, and HA Michael (2013) Geologic effects on groundwater salinity and discharge into an estuary, Journal of Hydrology, 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2013.05.049.

Sawyer, AH, F Shi, J Kirby, HA Michael (2013) Dynamic response of surface water-groundwater exchange to currents, tides, and waves in a shallow estuary, Journal of Geophysical Research – Oceans, doi: 10.1002/jgrc.20154.

Konikow, LF, M Akhavan, CD Langevin, HA Michael, AH Sawyer (2013) Seawater circulation in sediments driven by interactions between seabed topography and fluid density, Water Resources Research, doi: 10.1002/wrcr.20121.

Michael, HA, MA Charette, CF Harvey (2011) Patterns and variability of groundwater flow and radium activity at the coast: a case study from Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts, Marine Chemistry, 127, 100-114, doi:10.1016/j.marchem.2011.08.001.

Michael, HA, AE Mulligan, and CF Harvey (2005) Seasonal oscillations in water exchange between aquifers and the coastal ocean, Nature, 436 1145-1148.

Michael, HA, JS Lubetsky, and CF Harvey (2003) Characterizing submarine groundwater discharge: a seepage meter study in Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts. Geophysical Research Letters, 30 (6) 1297.

ABSTRACTS:

AH Sawyer, HA Michael*,K Kroeger, O Lazareva, K Crespo, C Russoniello, F Shi, J Kirby, CS Chan, T Stieglitz, Geologic and hydrodynamic effects on shallow groundwater-surhface water exchange and chemical fluxes to an estuary, 23rd Salt Water Intrusion Meeting, Husum, Germany, June 16-20, 2014.

JW Heiss*, HA Michael, Tidal, spring-neap, and seasonal dynamics of a saltwater-freshwater mixing zone in a beach aquifer, 23rd Salt Water Intrusion Meeting, Husum, Germany, June 16-20, 2014.

Michael, HA*, AH Sawyer, KD Kroeger, CJ Russoniello, LF Konikow, Stratigraphic controls on submarine groundwater discharge, groundwater-surface water mixing, and associated chemical fluxes to an estuary, OceanSciences Meeting, Honolulu, HI, February 25, 2014.

McAllister, SM*, JM Barnett, GW Luther III, HA Michael, CS Chan, Interplay between iron- and sulfur- cycling microbial communities and geochemistry along ecosystem gradients in the intertidal mixing zone of a beach aquifer  Ocean Sciences Meeting, Honolulu, HI, February 25, 2014.

Michael, HA*,KD Kroeger, C Fernandez, LF Konikow, AH Sawyer, CJ Russoniello, JF Bratton, Impact of Groundwater Flowpaths on Subsurface Denitrification and Nutrient Loading to an Estuary, American Geophysical Meeting Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 9-13, 2013.

Sawyer, AH*, F Shi, JT Kirby, HA Michael, Dynamic response of surface water-groundwater exchange to currents, tides, and waves in a shallow estuary, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 7, 2012, invited.

Konikow, LF*, M Akhavan, AH Sawyer, HA Michael, CD Langevin, Bathymetry-density interaction as a driver for seawater recirculation in submarine groundwater discharge, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 7, 2012.

Russoniello, CJ*, M Kereszi, HA Michael, Exploring wave-induced artifacts and asymmetry in seepage meter measurements, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Charlotte, NC, November 4-7, 2012.

Heiss, JW*, AH Sawyer, WJ Ullman, HA Michael, Seasonal water table effects on tide-induced saltwater-freshwater mixing in sandy beaches, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Charlotte, NC, November 4-7, 2012.

JF Bratton*, KD Kroeger, SA Ruberg, HA Michael, DE Krantz, Comparison of methods and results in recent studies of direct groundwater discharge to the Atlantic coast and Great Lakes, Goldschmidt Conference, Montreal, Canada, June 24-29, 2012.

Michael, HA*, CJ Russoniello, C Fernandez, LF Konikow, AS Andres, JF Bratton, JF Banaszak, DE Krantz, Geologic effects on subsurface salinity distributions, groundwater flowpaths, and aquifer-estuary exchange in Indian River Bay, Delaware, USA, 22nd Salt Water Intrusion Meeting, Buzios, Brazil, June 17-22, 2012.

Kroeger, KD*, C Fernandez, CJ Russoniello, AS Andres, JF Bratton, JK Bohlke, L Konikow, HA Michael, Denitrification and nitrogen loading at the aquifer/estuary interface: The role of coastal hydrology and implications for management of nitrogen loads, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, February 20-24, 2012.

Heiss, J*, WJ Ullman, HA Michael, Swash-Induced Infiltration in a Sandy Beach Aquifer, Cape Henlopen, Delaware, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 4-9, 2011.

Russoniello, CJ*, C Fernandez, JF Bratton, D Krantz, J Banaszak, AS Andres, LF Konikow, HA Michael, Control of submarine groundwater discharge patterns and salinity by a low-permeability paleochannel cap at Indian River Bay, Delaware, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, December 4-9, 2011.

Konikow, LF*, M Akhavan, HA Michael, C Langevin, Coastal recirculation of saltwater due to coupled effect of variable bathymetry and density, Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, 9-12 October, 2011.

Michael, HA*, C Fernandez, CJ Russoniello, AS Andres, KD Kroeger, DE Krantz, JF Banaszak, A Musetto, K Myers, LF Konikow, JF Bratton, Geologic and Hydrologic Control of Porewater Chemistry and Submarine Groundwater Discharge into Indian River Bay, Delaware, Goldschmidt Conference, August 14-19, 2011, Prague, Czech Republic.

Michael, HA*, CJ Russoniello, C Fernandez, A Musetto, K Myers, JF Bratton, AS Andres, DE Krantz, JF Banaszak, KD Kroeger, and LF Konikow, Spatial patterns in subsurface salinity and submarine groundwater discharge into Indian River Bay, Delaware, National Ground Water Association Ground Water Summit, Baltimore, MD, May 1-5, 2011.

Fernandez, C*, KD Kroeger, JF Bratton, CJ Russoniello, A Musetto, AS Andres, HA Michael, Porewater Salinity Distribution and Geochemical Characterization of the Subsurface of Indian River Bay, Delaware, National Ground Water Association Ground Water Summit, Baltimore, MD, May 1-5, 2011.

Russoniello, CJ*, HA Michael, AS Andres LF Konikow, Construction of a watershed-scale model towards an understanding large-scale influences on submarine groundwater discharge to the Inland Bays Watershed, Sussex Co., Delaware, National Ground Water Association Ground Water Summit, Baltimore, MD, May 1-5, 2011.

Andres, AS*, PS McCreary, CJ Russoniello, C Fernandez, K Myers, A Musetto, HA Michael, Case study of use of offshore wells for monitoring submarine groundwater discharge, Indian River Bay, Delaware, National Ground Water Association Ground Water Summit, Baltimore, MD, May 1-5, 2011.

Heiss, JW*, HA Michael, WJ Ullman, Characterization of Fluid Flow and Seawater Infiltration through the Beachface Saltwater/Freshwater Mixing Zone, National Ground Water Association Ground Water Summit, Baltimore, MD, May 1-5, 2011.

Michael, HA*,MA Charette, CF Harvey, Mechanisms Driving Submarine Groundwater Discharge and Associated Radium Flux, 3rd Radium-Radon Meeting, March 15-18, 2010, Jerusalem, Israel.

Michael, HA*,Investigating Fluxes between Aquifers and the Sea on Multiple Spatial and Temporal Scales through Modeling,International Conference on Aquatic Resources, Nov 20, 2009, Alexandria, Egypt.

Bratton, J*, J Crusius, K Kroeger, JK Bohlke, D Krantz, H Michael, S Baldwin, A Green, Coastal groundwater discharge from both sides of the Delmarva Peninsula, Atlantic Estuarine Research Society Meeting, 5-7 March 2009, Ocean City, Maryland.

Michael, HA*, MA Charette, CF Harvey, Mechanisms Driving Submarine Groundwater Discharge and Associated Radium Flux: Implications for Use of Radium as a Tracer, 20th Salt Water Intrusion Meeting, Naples, FL June 23-27, 2008.

Featured Faculty

Holly Michael

Holly Michael picture

Unidel Fraser Russell Career Development Chair in Environment Associate Professor Geological Sciences

 

CEOE School & Departments

School of Marine Science & Policy

Advancing the understanding, stewardship, and conservation of estuarine, coastal, and ocean environments.

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Department of Geological Sciences

Discovering how geological processes have operated over various time scales to create and influence the planet’s surface environments.

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Department of Geography

Investigating the interactions between people and the environment and the processes that explain the location of human and natural phenomena.

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College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment • 111 Robinson Hall • Newark, DE 19716 • USA • Phone: 302-831-2841
Geography: 302-831-2294 • Geology: 302-831-2569 • Marine Science and Policy: 302-645-4212 • E-mail: ceoe-info@udel.edu

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