Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



Special Reports in Applied Marine Science and Ocean Engineering (SRAMSOE) No. 231


Parker Creek is a branched tidal creek located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. In its southern branch, the creek receives waste inputs from a poultry processing plant. A study has been conducted to determine the effects of these inputs and to formulate a mathematical model of the creek system suitable for water quality planning. The model and field studies show the creek may be divided into two zones, an upstream zone dominated by freshwater flows and waste inputs, and a downstream zone dominated by conditions in adjacent Metomkin Bay. In the upstream zone of the waste-receiving branch, conditions of elevated nutrient and depressed dissolved oxygen concentrations exist. In the downstream zone, conditions are close to natural. For purposes of comparison, surveys were conducted in three similar non-impacted tidal creeks and in Metornkin Bay. From a planning standpoint, the most significant result of these surveys is that violations of minimum dissolved oxygen standards may occur as a natural condition in tidal creeks.



Estuaries, Mathematical Models, Salt Marshes, Pollution, Virginia