School of Earth, Environmental, and Marine Sciences Faculty Publications and Presentations

Nutrient input from submarine groundwater discharge versus intermittent river-water discharge through an artificial dam in the Yeongsan River estuary, Korea

Document Type


Publication Date



The Yeongsan River estuary (YRE) is located downstream of a dam housing an artificial lake on the southwestern coast of Korea. Intermittent discharges of lake water through dam gates control the water level of the lake. This study compares fluxes of dissolved nutrients in discharged water with those of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) occurring in the YRE in July and October 2008. With the exception of dissolved inorganic phosphorus (DIP) which limits primary production, nutrient concentrations in the YRE are controlled mainly by conservative mixing between lake water and open ocean water during periods of lake water discharge. In comparison with lake water discharge, the magnitude of SGD, based on a 222Rn mass balance model, is relatively small (about 1.5×105 m3 day−1 in July and about 30% higher in October) and dependent on the water elevation in the lake. However, SGD contributes considerably to the input of DIP when discharge of lake water is halted. Our study shows that SGD is more important in the delivery of biogeochemical components into estuaries that are obstructed by artificial dams.


Reprints and Permissions

Copyright © 2010, Korea Ocean Research & Development Institute (KORDI) and the Korean Society of Oceanography (KSO) and Springer Netherlands

Publication Title

Ocean Science Journal