Hydrogeology and Landscape Hydrology

Dynamics of the saltwater/freshwater interface in coastal aquifers

Project summary

Within this topic, processes at the saltwater/freshwater interface and within freshwater lenses are studied. Knowledge on these processes is of interest for both coastal ecosystems as well as coastal water management issues. The aim is to gain an understanding of hydrodynamic and hydrochemical processes associated with both submarine groundwater discharge and saltwater intrusion. In addition, consequences in connection with global warming (potential sea-level rise, increase in storm surges, changed groundwater recharge patterns) will be predicted using numerical modeling.

In the first step, investigations focus on Spiekeroog, where the extent of the freshwater lens is mapped and the groundwater characterized using dating, isotopic and hydrochemical methods. In addition, submarine groundwater discharge locations are identified and sampled and the transient discharge dynamics studied by means of physical and numerical modeling.


AG Mikrobiogeochemie, ICBM Uni Oldenburg; Oldenburgisch-Ostfriesischer Wasserverband (OOWV)


Röper, T., Greskowiak J., Massmann, G. (2014): Detecting Small Groundwater Discharge Springs Using Handheld Thermal Infrared Imagery, Groundwater, doi: 10.1111/gwat.12145

Röper, T., Kröger, K. F., Meyer, H., Sültenfuss, J., Greskowiak, J., Massmann, G. (2012). Groundwater ages, recharge conditions and hydrochemical evolution of a barrier island freshwater lens (Spiekeroog, Northern Germany). J. of Hydrol. 454: 173-183

Röper, T, Greskowiak, J., Freund, H., Massmann, G. (2013). Freshwater lens formation below juvenile dunes on a barrier island (Spiekeroog, Northwest Germany). Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 121-122: 40-50

Greskowiak, J., Röper, T., Post, V.E.A. (2013): Closed-Form Approximations for Two-Dimensional Groundwater Age Patterns in a Fresh Water Lens. Ground Water, 51(4), 629-634