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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012-1099

Summary of Oceanographic and Water-Quality Measurements near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Maryland, 2011


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Suspended-sediment transport is a critical element governing the geomorphology of tidal marshes. Marshes rely on both organic material and inorganic sediment deposition to maintain their elevation relative to sea level. In wetlands near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge , Maryland, portions of the salt marsh have been subsiding relative to sea level since the early 20th century. Other portions of the marsh have been successful at maintaining elevation. The U.S. Geological Survey performed observational deployments to measure suspended-sediment concentration in the tidal channels in order to understand the magnitude of suspended-sediment concentrations, the sediment-transport mechanisms, and differences between two marsh areas, one that subsided and one that maintained elevation. We deployed optical turbidity sensors and acoustic velocity meters at multiple sites over two periods in 2011. This report presents the time-series of oceanographic data collected during those field studies, including velocity, depth, turbidity, salinity, water temperature, and pH.

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