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Current Affairs

Scientists for first time create groundwater maps meeting ocean

Date: 10 June 2019 Tags: Geography & Environment

Researchers from Ohio State University in United States for first time have created high-resolution maps which shows where groundwater meets oceans. It is first of its kind such analysis that may help protect both drinking water and the seas. The map was created by combining topographical data from NASA’s satellites and climate models to show flow of groundwater around the world's coasts.

Key findings of Study

Nearly one-half of fresh submarine groundwater discharge flows into ocean near the tropics. Regions near active fault lines send greater volumes of groundwater into ocean as compared to regions that are tectonically stable. Dry, arid regions have very little groundwater discharge and opens limited groundwater supplies in those parts of the world to saltwater intrusion.

Significance: It is first near-global and spatially distributed high-resolution map of fresh groundwater flow to the coast. It will give scientists better clues about where to monitor groundwater discharge. It may help coastal communities better protect and manage their drinking water.  It shows that freshwater-groundwater discharge is natural line of defense against saltwater intrusion and groundwater plays important role in carrying minerals an in some cases, pollutants to oceans.