National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) recently launched a project with the PP Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Science to study submarine groundwater in Taiwan’s coastal areas.
The project between NCKU’s Tainan Hydraulics Laboratory and the institute is aimed at “monitoring, assessing and managing the implications of submarine groundwater discharges” — a common net flow of freshwater from an aquifer medium to the sea — in Taiwan, the university said during a press conference yesterday.
Researchers will study the influence of the flow of submarine groundwater on the country’s coastal environment and develop scientific approaches to control the flow, the university said.
The findings of the three-year project could shape the research methodology used in contemporary inshore physical oceanographic studies, university senior vice president Hwung Hwung-hweng (黃煌煇) said.
Hwung said researchers had also recently completed oceanic exploration and water sampling in the Pingtung coastal areas between Tunkang River (東港溪) and Linbian River (林邊溪) from Feb. 12 until last Tuesday.
The Russian team of seven, led by Peter Zavialov, a professor at the institute, will then attempt to predict the net flow of groundwater along Pingtung’s coastal areas based on analysis of water quality and satellite imagery, Hwung said.
They should also be able to identify the locations where fresh groundwater flows into the sea along the coast, Hwung said.
“[The collaboration] is a good beginning and should be continued,” Hwung said.
Representatives from the institute — the oldest oceanology research center in Russia — have also expressed an interest in extending and bolstering the research with Taiwanese scientists, Hwung said.