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Characterizing freshwater and nutrient fluxes to West Falmouth Harbor, Massachusetts

Description: These data present oceanographic and water-quality observations made at six locations in West Falmouth Harbor and Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts. While both Buzzards Bay and West Falmouth Harbor are estuarine embayments, the input of freshwater on the eastern margin of Buzzards Bay is largely due to groundwater. In West Falmouth Harbor, the groundwater that seeps into the harbor is characterized by relatively high levels of nitrate, originating from the Falmouth Wastewater Treatment Plant. This high nitrate load has modified the ecology of the harbor, and may be a significant source of nitrate to Buzzards Bay during seasons with low biological nitrate uptake. The USGS undertook these measurements to improve understanding of circulation, residence time, and water quality in the harbor and bay.

Duration: Jul-Nov 2009; July-Nov 2010; July-Aug 2012

USGS PI: N.K. Ganju

Publications: Ganju, N.K., Dickhudt, P.J., Thomas, J.A., Borden, J., Sherwood, C.R., Montgomery, E., Twomey, E., and Martini, M., 2011, Summary of oceanographic and water-quality measurements in West Falmouth Harbor and Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts, 2009-2010: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1113. (Available online at

list any here

Field Activity Reports: 2009-060-FA, 2009-063-FA, 2009-065-FA, 2009-076-FA, 2009-077-FA, 2009-080-FA, 2010-030-FA, 2010-031-FA, 2010-032-FA, 2010-037-FA, 2010-058-FA, 2012-022-FA

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FGDC metadata for this experiment.

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Links to the Data (below):

Basic Sampling Interval Data access via THREDDS

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