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Document Type

Book Chapter


Virginia Institute of Marine Science


Perry L. McCarty and Robert Kennedy

Publication Date


Book Title

Proceedings of the National Symposium on Estuarine Pollution, Stanford University, August 23-25, 1967


Stanford University


Stanford, California


Over-enrichment leading to environmental degradation and the production of aquatic nuisance conditions have destroyed the multi-use potential of several coastal tidal systems in the United States. The Middle and South Atlantic and the Gulf Coast drainage basins are especially vulnerable to this type of destruction because of their hydraulic characteristics. Many are drowned pre-Pleistocene river valleys having a large basin capacity relative to the fresh-water inflow. This results in a horizontal-boundary type estuary characterized by higher salinities on the left side (looking downstream) and the absence of a sharp salinity gradient from surface to bottom of the water column . The surface waters have a net downstream movement and the bottom waters have a net upstream movement with a theoretical level of no net motion near mid -depth. The time of passage or net non -tidal movement in t he fresh -water tidal section is almost directly related to the inflow rate at the most downstream physical barrier and to the basin capacity.

Nutrient assimilation in a Virginia tidal system