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Open AccessArticle

Modeling the Potential of Submarine Groundwater Discharge to Facilitate Growth of Vibrio cholerae Bacteria

1
Faculty of Geosciences, Universität Bremen, Bibliothekstraße 1, 28359 Bremen, Germany
2
Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), Fahrenheitstraße 6, 28359 Bremen, Germany
3
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research–UFZ, Department Environmental Informatics, Permoserstrasse 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
4
Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Department of Hydrosciences, Institute for Groundwater Management, Professorship Contaminant Hydrology, Technische Universität Dresden, Bergstrasse 66, 01069 Dresden, Germany
5
Institute of Geosciences, Kiel University (CAU), Ludewig-Meyn-Strasse 10, 24118 Kiel, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Hydrology 2019, 6(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6020039
Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 14 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 18 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Submarine Groundwater Discharge and Its Effects)
Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), the discharge of terrestrial groundwater to the ocean, can govern the coastal benthic environment. Bacteria such as Vibrio cholerae inhabit coastal waters and sediments, whose growth can be influenced by SGD. In particular, salinity changes introduced by SGD could have a positive effect on the abundance but also virulence of non-halophilic V. cholera bacteria dwelling in coastal waters and shallow marine sediments. Here we assess potential effects of SGD on the environmental properties that favor V. cholerae in a numerical modeling study representing multiple scenarios. Approaching natural systems, simulation results reveal a high sensitivity of non-halophilic Vibrio cholerae growth to SGD and its primary driving factors. This dependency leads to highest growth potential at high groundwater inflow and low hydraulic conductivity of the aquifer as well as for steep sea-side boundary slopes. Besides its minor impact on the extent of SGD in our model, dispersion is a crucial limiting factor for V. cholerae habitat. We conclude that there is a close connection between the driving factors of SGD and low salinity zones along a coastal slope, and recommend taking these into consideration for evaluating local V. cholerae outbreaks. View Full-Text
Keywords: Submarine groundwater discharge; SGD; Vibrio cholerae; coastal research; numerical simulations; FEFLOW Submarine groundwater discharge; SGD; Vibrio cholerae; coastal research; numerical simulations; FEFLOW
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vollberg, F.; Walther, M.; Gärdes, A.; Moosdorf, N. Modeling the Potential of Submarine Groundwater Discharge to Facilitate Growth of Vibrio cholerae Bacteria. Hydrology 2019, 6, 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6020039

AMA Style

Vollberg F, Walther M, Gärdes A, Moosdorf N. Modeling the Potential of Submarine Groundwater Discharge to Facilitate Growth of Vibrio cholerae Bacteria. Hydrology. 2019; 6(2):39. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6020039

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vollberg, Felix; Walther, Marc; Gärdes, Astrid; Moosdorf, Nils. 2019. "Modeling the Potential of Submarine Groundwater Discharge to Facilitate Growth of Vibrio cholerae Bacteria" Hydrology 6, no. 2: 39. https://doi.org/10.3390/hydrology6020039

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