Time Variability of Suspended Material Concentrations in Estuaries

by W. Frank Bohlen, Univ of Connecticut, Groton, CT, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The concentration of suspended materials (SMC) within estuarine systems varies in response to a variety of factors. This variability complicates sampling SMC and establishes particular constraints that must be satisfied if field observations are to be of use within coastal engineering, environmental, or water quality studies. Data provided by a bottom mounted instrumentation array deployed for 42 days at a site in lower Chesapeake Bay show near bottom SMC varying over time scales ranging from 6 hours to in excess of five days. The low frequency variations contain significant energy and appear to be associated primarily with the local wind field. Higher frequency variations are dominated by ambient tidal currents.

Subject Headings: Estuaries | Water quality | Wind power | Field tests | Material properties | Sea water | Environmental issues | Oceanography

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