Silicic acid flux to the ocean from tidal permeable sediments: a modeling study

Romain Louis Chassagne, Pascal Lecroart, Héloïse Beaugendre, Sylvain Capo, Jean-Paul Parisot, Pierre Anschutz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Sandy sediments of tidal beaches are poor in reactive substances because they are regularly flushed by significant flow caused by tidal forcing. This transport process may significantly affect the flux of reactive solutes to the ocean. A two dimensional model coupling the Richards equation that describes the flow in permeable sediments and the conservation equation of the silicic acid was developed to simulate the evolution of the silicic acid concentration into a variably saturated porous media submitted to tidal forcing. A detailed algorithm of drainage zone under tidal forcing and numerical methods needed to solve it are properly presented. Flux to the ocean has been estimated. The silicic acid concentration displays a permanent lens with low silicic acid concentration at the top of the tidal zone. This lens that results from the tidal forcing, presents weak variations of area during the tidal cycle. Silicic outflux to the ocean increases with increasing beach slope, hydraulic conductivity and tidal range. Simulations reveal that the total silicic acid flux to the ocean from the coastal marine sands can be considered as significant compared to the flux supplied by the rivers. These results may alter the previously published global budget of the silicic acid to the ocean. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)52-62
    Number of pages11
    JournalComputers and Geosciences
    Volume43
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

    Keywords

    • Richards equation
    • Beach sands
    • Silicic acid
    • Unsaturated porous media
    • Coastal environment
    • Tidal forcing
    • PORE-WATER EXCHANGE
    • SUBMARINE GROUNDWATER DISCHARGE
    • FINITE-ELEMENT-ANALYSIS
    • HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY
    • SUBTERRANEAN ESTUARY
    • UNCONFINED AQUIFERS
    • MARINE-SEDIMENTS
    • MARSH SEDIMENTS
    • SOLUTE EXCHANGE
    • BIOGENIC SILICA

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