Huntsman Lecture - Secret Seeps: An Invisible Conduit Between Land and Sea

The 2019 A.G. Huntsman Medal has been awarded to Dr. Adina Paytan in recognition of her discoveries in the paleoceanographic history of important elements used to recreate the geochemical history of the planet, and of outstanding contributions to understanding the biogeochemical links between global earth-ocean-atmosphere nutrient controls on carbon productivity and paleoclimate. She will be giving a lecture Friday, November 8, from  4-5 p.m. in Ondaatje Hall, Marion McCain Building, 6135 University Avenue.

Her lecture is about submarine groundwater discharge (SGD). It is defined as "direct groundwater outflow across the ocean-land interface into the ocean" including both fresh groundwater flow and seawater that circulates through the coastal aquifer on tidal to seasonal time scales. SGD connects land and sea delivering freshwater, nutrients, gases, metals, and other constituents to coastal waters.

However, unlike river flow, SGD is often invisible, occurring as diffuse seepage through porous rocks or sediments or as discrete submarine springs or discharge conduits. Radium isotopes can be used to quantify SGD fluxes and associated constituents to coastal ecosystems. These land based subsidies impact coastal ecosystems by providing nutrients that support coastal productivity but also may result in eutrophication, input of pollutants, toxins, greenhouse gases and other contaminants to coastal water.​​


Lectures, Seminars




Ondaatje Hall, Marion McCain Arts and Social Science Building