A summary report of sediment processes in Chesapeake Bay and watershed

Water-Resources Investigations Report 2003-4123
Edited by: Michael J. Langland and Thomas Cronin



The Chesapeake Bay, the Nation's largest estuary, has been degraded because of diminished water quality, loss of habitat, and over-harvesting of living resources. Consequently, the bay was listed as an impaired water body due to excess nutrients and sediment. The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP), a multi-jurisdictional partnership, completed an agreement called "Chesapeake 2000" that revises and establishes new restoration goals through 2010 in the bay and its watershed. The goal of this commitment is the removal of the bay from the list of impaired waterbodies by the year 2010. The CBP is committed to developing sediment and nutrient allocations for major basins within the bay watershed and to the process of examining new and innovative management plans in the estuary itself and along the coastal zones of the bay. However, additional information is required on the sources, transport, and deposition of sediment that affect water clarity. Because the information and data on sediment processes in the bay were not readily accessible to the CBP or to state, and local managers, a Sediment Workgroup (SWGP) was created in 2001.

The primary objective of this report, therefore, is to provide a review of the literature on the sources, transport, and delivery of sediment in Chesapeake Bay and its watershed with discussion of potential implications for various management alternatives. The authors of the report have extracted, discussed, and summarized the important aspects of sediment and sedimentation that are most relevant to the CBP and other sediment related-issues with which resources managers are involved. This report summarizes the most relevant studies concerning sediment sources, transport and deposition in the watershed and estuary, sediments and relation to water clarity, and provides an extensive list of references for those wanting more information.

Suggested Citation

Langland, Michael, and Cronin, Thomas, eds., 2003, A summary report of sediment processes in Chesapeake Bay and watershed: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 2003–4123, 109 p., https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/wri034123.

Table of Contents

  • Executive summary, by Michael Langland, Thomas Cronin, and Scott Phillips
  • Abstract
  • Chapter 1. Introduction, by Thomas Cronin and Michael Langland 
  • Chapter 2. Watershed sediment sources, by Allen Gellis, Sean Smith, and Steven Stewart
  • Chapter 3. Watershed sediment transport, by Sean Smith, Michael Langland, and Robert Edwards 
  • Chapter 4. Watershed sediment deposition and storage, by Julie Herman, Clifford Hupp, and Michael Langland
  • Chapter 5. Estuarine sediment sources, by Thomas Cronin, Jeffrey Halka, Scott Phillips, nd Owen Bricker 
  • Chapter 6. Estuarine sediment transport, deposition, and sedimentation, by Thomas Cronin, Lawrence Sanford, Michael Langland, Debra Willard, and Casey Saenger 
  • Chapter 7. Integrated approaches to sediment studies, by Sean Smith, Julie Herman, Thomas Cronin, Gregory Schwarz, Michael Langland, Kenn Patison, and Lewis Linker
  • References cited
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title A summary report of sediment processes in Chesapeake Bay and watershed
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 2003-4123
DOI 10.3133/wri034123
Year Published 2003
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Pennsylvania Water Science Center
Description x, 109 p.
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details