Field Investigation in an Estuary: A Case Study of Cooper River/Charleston Harbor

by George M. Fisackerly, US Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, United States,
Allen M. Teeter, US Army Engineer Waterways, Experiment Station, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


In 1942, the flow of the Cooper/Ashley/Wando (South Carolina) River complex was altered by a flow diversion project. Subsequently, Charleston Harbor suffered a dramatic increase in maintenance dredging requirements. A hydropower dam was built on the upper Cooper River, further complicating the flow regime. In 1985, a 'rediversion' was completed, returning the system to a plan condition similar to the original with the eventual goal of alleviating shoaling in Charleston harbor. A field investigation was conducted to observe stratification in the harbor and salinity intrusion in the Cooper River. Extensive data were collected for various combinations of tides and freshwater inflows. Design and implementation of the investigation included consideration of a number of standard data collection applications as well as negotiation of inevitable pitfalls.

Subject Headings: Field tests | Case studies | Estuaries | Ports and harbors | Salt water intrusion | Water resources | Maintenance | Dredging | South Carolina | United States

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