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Objectives and Methods

Noble, Xu, Rosenfeld, Largier, Hamilton, Jones, and Robertson, 2003, Huntington Beach Shoreline Contamination Investigation, Phase III: U.S. Geological Survey Open-file Report 03-62, version 1.0

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1. Background
2. Hypotheses
3. Objectives and Methods
4. Measurement Program
5. Major Findings:
5.1. Surfzone Bacterial Contamination Patterns
5.2. Outfall Plume Tracking
5.3. Coastal Transport Processes
6. Transport Processes
7. Conclusions
8. References
9. Acknowledgements


3. Objectives and Methods

The principle objective for this multi-faceted measurement program was to determine if there is a causal link between offshore wastewater discharge and significant bacterial contamination at or above state beach sanitation standards (i.e., AB411) along the Huntington Beach shoreline. This objective includes the aim of identifying coastal ocean processes that could explain any observed links or that could provide insight to the possibility of shoreward transport of outfall plume waters. A secondary objective was to determine the principal coastal-ocean circulation patterns in this region, which will allow for the evaluation of other potential contamination pathways suggested in the future. A final objective was to compare conditions during the summer of 2001 with those in 1999 and other years that have a high incidence of surf zone bacteria contamination.

In order to meet these objectives, data from moored arrays and hydrographic and beach surveys were used to evaluate transport pathways or processes that potentially could bring the effluent plume from the outer shelf into the nearshore regions. The evaluation process consisted of three primary segments:

   Do the pathways or processes exist in the coastal ocean?
    What are the dominant characteristics of those pathways or processes?

   Can the pathways or processes transport material in the effluent plume to the nearshore region?

   Is there a causal association between identified coastal ocean processes or pathways and contamination events that exceed AB411 standards in the surfzone?
    - In the spatial surveys of effluent plume characteristics off Huntington Beach.
    - In the spatial and temporal structure of coastal ocean circulation patterns determined from the moored array data.

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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Western Region Coastal and Marine Geology
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Maintained by: Michael Diggles
Created: January 23, 2003
Last modified: March 10, 2005 (mfd)