Dr. Rapaglia works on several different lines of research. The first line of
research involves studies of Submarine Groundwater Discharge. Groundwater flows directly
into the sea anywhere an aquifer with a positive hydraulic head is hydraulically
connected to a surface water body. Groundwater is inherently enriched in many
contaminants and, therefore, it is often a major pathway for these contaminants to enter
the ocean. However, as it is inherently difficult to measure, the input of contaminants
into coastal zones through groundwater is often disregarded as an important source. Dr.
Rapaglia's research focuses on quantifying this flow of groundwater and associated
contaminants into the coastal zones, including the better understanding of geochemical
processes occurring in the coastal zone. His lab utilizes various techniques including
manual seepage meters, radionuclides, and geographic information systems (GIS) to
accomplish our research goals on a local, regional, and global scale. 

A second line of research involves sedimentary changes due to vessel navigation in ports
and harbors. Large vessels generate waves of sufficient energy to disturb sediments both
within and near shipping channels. When disturbed, contaminants maybe re-mobilized from
these sediments and released back into the water column. Dr. Rapaglia's lab uses
pressure sensors to better understand the types of waves generated by these vessels and
their impact on the environment. He seeks to understand how re-mobilized contaminants can
effect shellfish species. Dr. Rapaglia has other projects including studying salt water
intrusion into coastal aquifers and researching salt marshes, sea level rise, and storm

Degrees: Post-doctoral researcher 2008-2011: Christian Albrechts University of Kiel,
Germany: “Future Ocean Excellence Cluster"; 

Post-doctoral researcher 2007-2008: National Research Council of Italy’s Marine Science

PhD 2007: Marine and Atmospheric Science, School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Stony
Brook University; 

M.S. 2004: Marine Environmental Science, School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, Stony
Brook University; 

B.S. 2001: Geography and Environmental Science, University of Mary Washington. 



A GIS Typology to Locate Sites of Submarine Groundwater Discharge (with Carley Grant, Henry Bokuniewicz, Tsvi Pick, and Jan Scholten), Biology Faculty Publications (2015)

Although many researchers agree on the importance of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD), it remains difficult...



Ship-Wake Induced Sediment Remobilization: Effects and Proposed Management Strategies for the Venice Lagoon (with Luca Zaggia, Kevin E. Parnall, Giuliano Lorenzetti, and Athanasios T. Vafeidis), Biology Faculty Publications (2015)

More than 3000 commercial vessels navigate through the Malamocco-Marghera Industrial Canal in Venice Lagoon,...



Ship-Induced Solitary Riemann Waves of Depression in Venice Lagoon (with Kevin E. Parnall, Tarmo Soomere, Luca Zaggia, Artem Rodin, Giuliano Lorenzetti, and Gian Marco Scarpaf), Biology Faculty Publications (2015)

We demonstrate that ships of moderate size, sailing at low depth Froude numbers (0.37–0.5) in...



Impact of Sea-Level Rise on Saltwater Intrusion Length into the Coastal Aquifer, Partido de La Costa, Argentina (with Silvina Carretero, Henry Bokuniewicz, and Eduardo Kruse), Biology Faculty Publications (2013)

The impact to water resources of a potential 1-m rise in sea level against the...



Sediment Resuspension by Ship Wakes in the Venice Lagoon (with Morgan Gelinas, Henry Bokuniewicz, and Kamazima M.M. Lwiza), Biology Faculty Publications (2013)

Observations of Bernoulli wakes were recorded and analyzed for 22 passing ships in the industrial...


Popular Press


New 'Cities By The Sea' Study Abroad Program Offers Rich Mix of Science and Culture, Sacred Heart University News Story (2013)

Five Sacred Heart University students gained extensive insight into the field of coastal management and...