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KiSNet-SGD: Königshafen Submariner Grundwasserzufluss Netzwerk

Inspired by increasing SGD research activity, a DFG roundtable (“Submarine Groundwater Discharge – an invisible hotspot of global change?”) with national and international SGD experts in January 2016 was initialised by the applicants (see attachment). This roundtable revealed, that the German scientific community offers a unique combination of disciplinary (biogeochemical, geophysical, biological) angles from which SGD is currently studied. As a consequence, the wish for a closer collaboration across regional and disciplinary boundaries was explicitly expressed by the roundtable participants.

The roundtable furthermore demonstrated that the various employed methods, which served the same aim, were partly or completely unknown in their function/mode of action across the different disciplines. Moreover, a major outcome of the roundtable was that it is urgently necessary to create an updated and intercalibrated catalogue of methods. This catalogue was postulated to provide recommendations for optimal disciplinary combinations to investigate SGD qualitatively and quantitatively. It would allow for a standardization of SGD measuring methodology and guarantee a comparability of study results, and subsequently a uniform SGD characterization. Following up on this progress, in a second DFG roundtable (Interregionaler Workshop zur experimentellen Methodenvalidierung von submarinem Grundwasserabfluss) in February 2019, a diverse selection of SGD experts conceptualized an intercomparison experiment and identified an appropriate site at which all methods can be applied. The here proposed national SGD network will be built around this experiment. Therefore, the network will be unique in that the majority of the currently active SGD researchers nationwide will collaborate for the first time on a large-scale experiment. Through the intercomparison experiment our national SGD network will be strengthened, and subsequent cooperative follow-up projects are envisaged on a near-future (5-10 years) timescale. Furthermore, the network will establish a catalogue of methods outlining their strengths and weaknesses as well as combination options. As a major result, optimal interdisciplinary combinations for respective qualitative/ quantitative SGD investigations will be suggested reducing inherited uncertainties and paving the way for standardized SGD research.