Physical hydrogeological processes linking land-based pollution and coral reef health in the Dutch Caribbean

Project: PhD

Project Details


Climate change, overfishing and excessive tourism, amongst other factors, negatively affect coral reef health. One aspect that is often overlooked by scientists is the effect of on-land processes on reef ecosystems. The interdisciplinary SEALINK project aims to quantify this effect and thereby reveal the link between land and sea. An important aspect of this link is the flow of ground- and surface water, transporting sediments and solutes from land into coral reef ecosystems. So far, we have conducted a three-month field study on the semi-arid Caribbean island Curaçao to characterize the hydrogeology of the island. The field results will be combined with model simulations of ground- and surface water flows on the island. These simulations will be used as input for more focused field measurements aiming to detect and quantify surface flows and submarine groundwater discharge into the reefs. The SEALINK project is hosted by CARMABI research institute on Curaçao and involves PhD students from NIOZ, TU Delft, VU Amsterdam, UVA Amsterdam, Utrecht University and Wageningen University. Together, we aim to provide both fundamental insights as well as practical knowledge for reef-friendly land development.
Effective start/end date1/06/21 → …


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