Annual Oscillation of Mean Monthly Water Levels at U.S. Ports

Task Committee on Effects of Annual Tides, Tidal Hydraulics Committee, ASCE

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The annual variation in water level is not widely recognized among engineers. It could effect the selection of design ship channel depth or marina channel dredging, and tidal wetland creation or mitigation, because the range of this annual oscillation is often 10's of centimeters, its magnitude and cause must be known if effects of long-term sea level rise or multi-year phenomena such as the El Nino is to be properly judged. For the U.S. Atlantic Coast, the height of this annual oscillation generally increases from north to south, from near zero in Maine to about 30 cm near the Florida-Georgia border. Along the U.S. Gulf of Mexicoshore, this annual oscillation typically has a height of about 20 cm, which equals a major fraction of the daily tide at most Gulf ports. On the U.S. Pacific Coast, this height ranges between about 8 and 25 cm, with the maximum in Washington.

Subject Headings: Oscillations | Water level | Ports and harbors | Tides | Channels (waterway) | Wetlands (coastal) | Gulfs | Water surface | United States | Maine | Washington

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