Offshore-onshore hydrologic continuum and ecosystem variety: focus on the marine and continental water exchanges and their effects on the marine habitats sensitive to global changes

Marine-coastal environments are hydrologically complex areas characterized by a continuous exchange between marine and continental water flows, both on the surface and underground. This water exchange is one of the key factors influencing the habitats and benthic communities in these environments, leading, for instance, to variations in salinity and nutrient inputs that support benthos.

The objective of the project is to analyze the influence of marine and continental water exchanges on the shallow marine habitats of the Valdés Peninsula and the Venetian coastal system (Adriatic Sea). We propose an innovative study that considers an offshore-onshore hydrological continuum sensitive to global changes and subsequent hydrogeological alterations, such as sea level changes or the discharge of internal waters into the sea.

The impact of these water exchanges is studied by determining groundwater flows from coastal aquifers to the intertidal and shallow marine environment, assessing the outflow of groundwater into the sea, as well as the exchange of salts and nutrients associated with these water flows. The study employs an integrated research approach that takes into account the different physical, chemical, and biological processes arising from exchanges between marine and continental waters within a multidisciplinary context.

Bilateral agreement Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)

Duration: 24 months

Italian coordinator: Dr. Sandra Donnici, CNR-IGG (

Chinese coordinator: Dr. Eleonora Carol, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas - Centro de Investigaciones Geológicas (CONICET-UNLP)