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

Description: Suspended-sediment transport is a critical element governing the geomorphology of tidal marshes. Marshes rely both on organic material and inorganic sediment deposition to maintain their elevation relative to sea-level. In wetlands near the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, MD, 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 USGS undertook measurements of suspended-sediment concentration in the tidal channels in order to understand the magnitude of suspended-sediment concentrations, the sediment-transport mechanisms, and relative differences between the two areas of the marsh. 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.

Duration: Mar-May 2011; Sep-Dec 2011

USGS PI: N.K. Ganju

Publications: Ganju, N.K., Dickhudt, P.J.,Montgomery, E.T., Brennard, P., Derby, R.K, Brooks, T.W., Martini, M.A.,Borden, J., and Baldwin, S., 2012. Summary of Oceanographic and Water-Quality Measurements made near Blackwater River National Wildlife Refuge, 2011, USGS Open File Report 2012-1099. (Available online at

Field Activity Reports: 2011-017-FA, 2011-029-FA, 2011-044-FA, 2011-050-FA

Explore where measurements were made and the kinds of data collected during this
experiment using GoogleEarth (V4 or better required) and BW11.kml.

FGDC metadata for this experiment.

Map of experiment locations
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Links to the Data (below):

Basic Sampling Interval Data access via THREDDS

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