Jackson Estuarine Laboratory

Temporal variability in salinity, temperature and suspended sediments in a Gulf of Maine estuary (Great Bay Estuary, New Hampshire)


Determining temporal and spatial variations of suspended sediments and other water column physical properties (e.g. temperature, salinity, turbidity) in estuarine systems require high-resolution observations over several scales of space and time (Uncles et al., 1988; Dyer, 2000; Grabemann and Krause, 2001; Schmidt and Luther, 2002). Although obtaining these types of measurements can be difficult due to time, equipment and monetary constraints, they are important for developing a fundamental scientific understanding of many estuarine processes, such as primary and secondary productivity, the transport and fate of contaminants, nutrient cycling, or sedimentation (Pritchard and Schubel, 1981; Ward et al., 1984; Fisher et al., 1988; Bilgili et al., 1996; Allen et al., 1998; Lee and Cundy, 2001; Sanford et al., 2001; Johnston et al., 2002; Verity, 2002). Accordingly, numerous studies have been conducted over the last several decades that seek to describe and quantify basic estuarine physics and sedimentological processes (see Kennedy, 1984; Nichols and Biggs, 1985; Eisma, 1993, and Dyer, 2000 for reviews). For instance, it has been long understood that the combination and balance of freshwater input from rivers and tidal energy controls or strongly influences net non-tidal circulation (density driven), water column stratification, and sedimentation (Pritchard, 1952; Schubel and Biggs, 1969; Biggs, 1970; Schubel, 1972; Allen et al., 1980; Biggs and Cronin, 1981; Ward and Twilley, 1986; Dyer, 2000; Sanford et al., 2001; Schmidt and Luther, 2002).

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Journal Title

High Resolution Morphodynamics and Sedimentary Evolution of Estuaries



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