Inventor: Matthew Charette
Publication No. US7637168 B2
Overview: Submarine Groundwater Discharge (SGD) can carry nutrients and pollutants into salt marshes, coastal waters, bays, coral reefs and other vulnerable areas potentially leading to environmental problems including eutrophication and the deterioration of the natural ecology. The study of the flow, and in particular, the volume of the flow of submarine groundwater discharge in saltwater bays, is of importance to scientists studying the environment of an estuary or other habitat. Current measurement methods are prone to error and there is a need for more accurate sensors in lieu of expensive hydrogeologic investigations or numerical modeling studies, and/or as an independent check on these more traditional techniques.
Technology: The Automated Groundwater Seepage Meter (GSM) uses an integrated spectrophotometer for sampling and analyzing both submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) and seawater. GSM produces high-resolution time-series data from tracer dilution data. The system can be configured to quantify water salinity, dissolved nutrients, and/or toxins. Working prototypes have been developed and field tested. GSM applications include the location of fresh water aquifers, determination and monitoring of ground water toxins, and the validation of ground water remediation efforts. The technology has utility for local and federal regulatory agencies, researchers, and consultants.