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U.S. Geological Survey Oceanographic Time-Series Data Collection

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


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,

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

Revision History:

  • September 2015 fixed typo in velocity variable attributes
  • 2014 data from 2012 published
  • 2013 Data through 2010 published

Please use the following citation when referencing this dataset:

Dickhudt,P.K., Ganju,N.K., Montgomery, E.T., Martini, M.A., Oceanographic and water-quality measurements-- West Falmouth Harbor, Massachusetts, 2009, 2010, 2012: U.S. Geological Survey data release,

Data Access

table imageCatalog of Data

Data Access via THREDDS (EPIC)

Data Access via THREDDS (CF)

FGDC metadata for this experiment.

Station Locations


For more detail about the measurements collected at each site, browse WESTFAL.kml (using Google Earth).

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