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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-422
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-422
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  15 Sep 2020

15 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

Discharge of groundwater flow to the Potter Cove on King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula

Ulrike Falk1,2 and Adrián Silva-Busso3,4 Ulrike Falk and Adrián Silva-Busso
  • 1Climate Lab, Institute for Geography, Bremen University, Germany
  • 2Center for Remote Sensing of Land Surfaces (ZFL), Bonn University, Germany
  • 3Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences, University Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 4University of Buenos Aires (UBA), Buenos Aires, Argentina

Abstract. There is only a small number of recent publications discuss glacial runoff in Antarctica and even fewer of them deal with the groundwater flow discharge. This paper focuses on the groundwater flow aspects and is based on a detailed study performed on a small hydrological catchment, informally called Potter Basin, located on King George Island (KGI; Isla 25 de Mayo), South Shetland Islands, at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. This region has experienced drastic climatological changes within the past five decades. The basin is representative for the rugged coastline of the Northern Antarctic Peninsula, and is discussed as a case study for possible future evolution of similar basins further to the South. A conceptual hydrogeological model has been defined using vertical electrical soundings (VES), geological and hydrogeological surveying methods, geomorphological interpretation based on satellite imagery, permeability tests, piezometric level measurements, meteorological, geocryological and glaciological data sets. The transmissivities of the fluvial talik aquifer and suprapermafrost aquifer range from 162.0 to 2719.9 · 10−5 m2 s−1, and in basaltic fissurated aquifers from 3.47 to 5.79 · 10−5 m2 s−1. The transmissivities found in the active layer of hummocky moraines amount to 75.23 · 10−5 m2 s−1, in sea deposits to 163.0 · 10−5 m2 s−1, and in the fluvioglacial deposits they were observed between 902.8 and 2662.0 · 10−5 m2 d−1. Finally, the groundwater flow discharge was assessed to 0.47 m3 s−1 (only during January and February), and the total groundwater storage was estimated to 560 000 m3. This data can be used to adjust the local glacial mass balance and to improve the understanding of coastal sea water processes in Potter Cove and their effects on the local marine biota, as a consequence of the global climate change.

Ulrike Falk and Adrián Silva-Busso

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Ulrike Falk and Adrián Silva-Busso

Ulrike Falk and Adrián Silva-Busso

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Short summary
This paper focuses on the groundwater flow aspects of a small hydrological catchment at the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. This region has experienced drastic climatological changes in the recent past. The basin is representative for the rugged coastline of the Peninsula. It is discussed as a case study for possible future evolution of similar basins further South. Results include a quantitative analysis of glacial and groundwater contribution to total discharge into coastal waters.
This paper focuses on the groundwater flow aspects of a small hydrological catchment at the...
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