Skip to main content

Alternating Effects of Climate Drivers on Altamaha River Discharge to Coastal Georgia, USA

Abstract

Freshwater delivery is an important factor determining estuarine character and health and may be influenced by large-scale climate oscillations. Variability in freshwater delivery (precipitation and discharge) to the Altamaha River estuary (GA, USA) was examined in relation to indices for several climate signals: the Bermuda High Index (BHI), the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), the Improved El Niño Modoki Index (IEMI), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), and the Pacific/North American Pattern (PNA). Discharge to this estuary has been linked to key ecosystem properties (e.g., salinity regime, water residence time, nutrient inputs, and marsh processes), so understanding how climate patterns affect precipitation and river discharge will help elucidate how the estuarine ecosystem may respond to climate changes. Precipitation patterns in the Altamaha River watershed were described using empirical orthogonal functions (EOFs) of the combined multidecadal time series of precipitation at 14 stations. The first EOF (67 % of the variance) was spatially uniform, the second EOF (11 %) showed a spatial gradient along the long axis of the watershed (NW–SE), and the third EOF (6 %) showed a NE–SW pattern. We compared the principal components (PCs) associated with these EOFs, monthly standardized anomalies of Altamaha River discharge at the gauge closest to the estuary, and the climate indices. Complex, seasonally alternating patterns emerged. The BHI was correlated with June–January discharge and precipitation PC 1. The SOI was correlated with January–April discharge and precipitation PC 2, and also weakly correlated with PC 1 in November–December. The AMO was correlated with river discharge and precipitation PC 3 mainly in December–February and June. The correlation patterns of precipitation PCs with PDO and PNA were similar to those with SOI, but weaker. There were no consistent relationships with two NAO indices or IEMI. Connections between climate signals and estimates of nutrient loading were consistent with the connections to discharge. The occurrence of tropical storms in the region was strongly related to the BHI but not to the other climate indices, possibly representing the influence of storm tracking more than the rate of storm formation. Comparison with the literature suggests that the patterns found may be typical of southeastern USA estuaries but are likely to be different from those outside the region.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

References

  • Alber, Merryl, Erick M. Swenson, Susan C. Adamowicz, and Irving A. Mendelssohn. 2008. Salt marsh dieback: an overview of recent events in the US. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 80: 1–11.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Allen, Dennis M., Virginia Ogburn-Matthews, Tracy Buck, and Erik M. Smith. 2008. Mesozooplankton responses to climate change and variability in a southeastern U.S. estuary (1981–2003). Journal of Coastal Research Special Issue 55: 95–110.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ashok, Karumuri, Swadhin K. Behera, Suryachandra A. Rao, Hengyi Weng, and Toshio Yamagata. 2007. El Niño Modoki and its possible teleconnection. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans 112, C11007. doi:10.1029/2006JC003798.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Barlow, M., S. Nigam, and E.H. Berbery. 2001. ENSO, Pacific decadal variability, and U.S. summertime precipitation, drought, and stream flow. Journal of Climate 14: 2105–2128.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Bove, Mark C., James B. Elsner, Chris W. Landsea, Xufeng Niu, and James J. O'Brien. 1998. Effect of El Niño on U.S. landfalling hurricanes, revisited. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 79: 2477–2482.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Center for Ocean–Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS), Florida State University. Southeast Coastal Climate. http://coastalclimate.org/climate/seimpacts.php. Accessed 2009.

  • Christensen, J.H., B. Hewitson, A. Busuioc, A. Chen, X. Gao, I. Held, R. Jones, R.K. Kolli, W.-T. Kwon, R. Laprise, V. Magaña Rueda, Mearns Linda, C.G. Menéndez, J. Räisänen, A. Rinke, A. Sarr, and Whetton Peter. 2007. Regional Climate Projections. In Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of working group I to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, ed. S. Solomon, D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor, and H.L. Miller. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Coleman, Jill S.M., and Dagmar Budikova. 2013. Eastern US summer streamflow during extreme phases of the North Atlantic Oscillation. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 118: 4181–4193.

    Google Scholar 

  • Craft, Christopher. 2007. Freshwater input structures soil properties, vertical accretion, and nutrient accumulation of Georgia and U.S. tidal marshes. Limnology and Oceanography 52: 1220–1230.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Dame, Richard, Merryl Alber, D. Allen, Michael A. Mallin, Clay Montague, Alan Lewitus, Alice G. Chalmers, R. Gardner, C. Gilman, J. Björn Kjerfve, J. Pinckney, and N. Smith. 2000. Estuaries of the south Atlantic coast of North America: their geographical signatures. Estuaries 23: 793–819.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Diem, Jeremy E. 2013. Comments on “Changes to the north Atlantic subtropical high and its role in the intensification of summer rainfaill variability in the southeastern United States”. Journal of Climate 26: 679–682.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Durkee, J.D., J.D. Frye, C.M. Fuhrmann, M.C. Lacke, H.G. Jeong, and T.L. Mote. 2007. Effects of the North Atlantic Oscillation on precipitation-type frequency and distribution in the eastern United States. Theoretical and Applied Climatology. doi:10.1007/s00704-007-0345-x.

    Google Scholar 

  • Emery, W.J., and R.E. Thomson. 1997. Data analysis methods in physical oceanography. New York: Pergamon Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Enfield, David B., Alberto M. Mestas-Nuñez, and Paul J. Trimble. 2001. The Atlantic multidecadal oscillation and its relation to rainfall and river flows in the continental U.S. Geophysical Research Letters 28: 2077–2080.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Felzer, Benjamin, and Preston Heard. 1999. Precipitation differences amongst GCSs used for the U.S. national assessment. Journal of the American Water Resources Association 35: 1327–1339.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Florida State University. ENSO Index According to JMA SSTA (1868-present). http://coaps.fsu.edu/jma.shtml. Accessed 2008.

  • Gallagher, John L., Robert J. Reimold, Rick A. Linthurst, and William J. Pfeiffer. 1980. Aerial production, mortality, and mineral accumulation—export dynamics in Spartina alterniflora and Juncus roemerianus plant stands in a Georgia salt marsh. Ecology 61: 303–312.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gérard-Marchant, Pierre G.F., and David E. Stooksbury. 2010. Impact of El Niño/Southern Oscillation on low-flows in south Georgia, USA. Southeastern Geographer 50: 218–243.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gershunov, Alexander, and Tim P. Barnett. 1998. ENSO influence on intraseasonal extreme rainfall and temperature frequencies in the contiguous United States: observations and model results. Journal of Climate 11: 1575–1586.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Greenland, David, and Timothy G.F. Kittel. 2002. Temporal variability of climate at the US Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites. Climate Research 19: 213–231.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Greenland, David, Douglas G. Goodin, and Raymond C. Smith (eds.). 2003. Climate variability and ecosystem response at long-term ecological research sites. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hanley, Deborah E., Mark A. Bourassa, James J. O'Brien, Shawn R. Smith, and Elizabeth R. Spade. 2003. A quantitative evaluation of ENSO indices. Journal of Climate 16: 1249–1258.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hayden, Bruce P., and Nils R. Hayden. 2003. Decadal and century-long changes in storminess at Long-Term Ecological Research sites. In Climate variability and ecosystem response at long-term ecological research sites, ed. David Greenland, Douglas G. Goodin, and Raymond C. Smith, 262–285. New York: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Henderson, Keith G., and Anthony J. Vega. 1996. Regional precipitation variability in the southern United States. Physical Geography 17: 93–112.

    Google Scholar 

  • Howarth, Robert W., Dennis P. Swaney, Thomas J. Butler, and Roxanne Marino. 2000. Climatic control on eutrophication of the Hudson River estuary. Ecosystems 3: 210–215.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hurrell, James W., and Robert R. Dickson. 2004. Climate variability over the North Atlantic. In Marine ecosystems and climate variation: the North Atlantic: a comparative perspective, ed. Nils Chr Stenseth, Geir Ottersen, James W. Hurrell, and Andrea Belgrano. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hurrell, James W., and Harry Van Loon. 1997. Decadal variations in climate associated with the North Atlantic Oscillation. Climatic Change 36: 301–326.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology. Monthly El Nino Modoki Index data http://www.jamstec.go.jp/frcgc/research/d1/iod/modoki_home.html.en. Accessed 2013.

  • Joyce, Terrence M. 2002. One hundred plus years of wintertime climate variability in the eastern United States. Journal of Climate 15: 1076–1086.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Karl, Thomas R., Jerry M. Melillo, and Thomas C. Peterson. 2009. Global climate change impacts in the United States. New York: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Katz, Richard W., Marc B. Parlange, and Claudia Tebaldi. 2003. Stochastic modeling of the effects of large-scale circulation on daily weather in the southeastern U.S. Climatic Change 60: 189–216.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kelly, Martin H., and James A. Gore. 2008. Florida river flow patterns and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. River Research and Applications 24: 598–616.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Kennish, Michael J. 2001. Coastal salt marsh systems in the U.S.: a review of anthropogenic impacts. Journal of Coastal Research 17: 731–748.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kim, Hye-Mi, Peter J. Webster, and Judith A. Curry. 2009. Impact of shifting patterns of Pacific Ocean warming on North Atlantic tropical cyclones. Science 325: 77–80.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Latif, M., and N.S. Keenlyside. 2009. El Niño/Southern Oscillation response to global warming. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106: 20578–20583.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lau, Ngar-Cheung. 1997. Interactions between global SST anomalies and the midlatitude atmospheric circulation. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 78: 21–33.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Leathers, Daniel J., Brent Yarnal, and Michael A. Palecki. 1991. The Pacific/North American teleconnection pattern and United States climate. Part 1: Regional temperature and precipitation associations. Journal of Climate 4: 517–528.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lehman, P.W. 2000. The influence of climate on phytoplankton community biomass in San Francisco Bay Estuary. Limnology and Oceanography 45: 580–590.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li, Gen, Baohua Ren, Chengyun Yang, and Jianqiu Zheng. 2010. Indices of El Niño and El Niño Modoki: an improved El Niño Modoki index. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 27: 1210–1220.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li, Wenhong, Laifang Li, Rong Fu, Deng Yi, and Hui Wang. 2011. Changes to the north Atlantic subtropical high and its role in the intensification of summer rainfall variability in the southeastern United States. Journal of Climate 24: 1499–1506.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Li, Wenhong, Laifang Li, Rong Fu, Deng Yi, and Hui Wang. 2013. Reply to “Comments on ‘Changes to the north Atlantic subtropical high and its role in the intensification of summer rainfall variability in the southeastern United States’”. Journal of Climate 26: 683–688.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mantua, Nathan J., and Steven R. Hare. 2002. The Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Journal of Oceanography 58: 35–44.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mantua, Nathan J., Steven R. Hare, Yuan Zhang, John M. Wallace, and Robert C. Francis. 1997. A Pacific interdecadal climate oscillation with impacts on salmon production. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 78: 1069–1079.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • McClelland, James W., and Ivan Valiela. 1998. Linking nitrogen in estuarine producers to land-derived sources. Limnology and Oceanography 43: 577–585.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Meehl, Gerald A., Francis Zwiers, Jenni Evans, Thomas Knutson, Linda Mearns, and Peter Whetton. 2000. Trends in extreme weather and climate events: issues related to modeling extremes in projections of future climate change. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 81: 427–436.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mortazavi, Behzad, Richard L. Iverson, F. Wenrui Huang, Graham Lewis III, and Jane M. Caffrey. 2000a. Nitrogen budget of Apalachicola Bay, a bar-built estuary in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Ecology Progress Series 195: 1–14.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mortazavi, Behzad, Richard L. Iverson, William M. Landing, and Wenrui Huang. 2000b. Phosphorus budget of Apalachicola Bay: a river-dominated estuary in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Marine Ecology Progress Series 198: 33–42.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Bivariate EnSo Timeseries or the ″BEST″ ENSO Index (2008a). http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/people/cathy.smith/best/. Accessed 2008.

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Georgia Climate Division Data graphics (2009a). http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/states/GA.html. Accessed 2009.

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Historical El Niño/ La Niña episodes (1950–present) (2008b). http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml. Accessed 2008.

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (2009b). Historical Hurricane Tracks. http://csc.noaa.gov/hurricanes/#). Accessed 2009.

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) (2008c). Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI). http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/. Accessed 2008.

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Pacific/North American Pattern. http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/pna/pna.shtml. Accessed 2013.

  • Neff, Rob, C. Heejun Chang, Gregory Knight, Raymond G. Najjar, Brent Yarnal, and Henry A. Walker. 2000. Impact of climate variation and change on mid-Atlantic region hydrology and water resources. Climate Research 14: 207–218.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Newman, Matthew, Gilbert P. Compo, and Michael A. Alexander. 2003. ENSO-forced variability of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Journal of Climate 16: 3853–3857.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Pennings, Steven C., and Mark D. Bertness. 2001. Salt marsh communities. In Marine community ecology, ed. Mark D. Bertness, Steven D. Gaines, and Mark E. Hay, 289–316. Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pennings, Steven C., Mary-Bestor Grant, and Mark D. Bertness. 2005. Plant zonation in low-latitude salt marshes: disentangling the roles of flooding, salinity and competition. Journal of Ecology 93: 159–167.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Philander, S. George. 1990. El Niño, La Niña, and the Southern Oscillation. San Diego, California: Academic.

    Google Scholar 

  • Reed, Denise J. 1990. The impact of sea-level rise on coastal salt marshes. Progress in Physical Geography 14: 465–481.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Reed, Denise J. 1995. The response of coastal marshes to sea-level rise: survival or submergence? Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 20: 39–48.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ren, Hong-Li, and Fei-Fei Jin. 2011. Niño indices for two types of ENSO. Geophysical Research Letters 38, L04704. doi:10.1029/2010GL046031.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Rogers, Jeffery C. 1984. The association between the North Atlantic Oscillation and the Southern Oscillation in the northern hemisphere. Monthly Weather Review 112: 1999–2015.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ropelewski, Chester F., and Michael S. Halpert. 1986. North American precipitation and temperature patterns associated with the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Monthly Weather Review 114: 2352–2362.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ropelewski, Chester F., and Michael S. Halpert. 1996. Quantifying Southern Oscillation—precipitation relationships. Journal of Climate 9: 1043–1059.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Royce, Frederick S., Clyde W. Fraisse, and Guillermo A. Baigorria. 2011. ENSO classification indices and summer crop yields in the southeastern USA. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 151: 817–826.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Royer, Thomas C., Chester E. Grosch, and Lawrence A. Mysak. 2001. Interdecadal variability of Northeast Pacific coastal freshwater and its implications on biological productivity. Progress in Oceanography 49: 95–111.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Scavia, Donald, John C. Field, Donald F. Boesch, Robert W. Buddemeier, Virginia Burkett, Daniel R. Cayan, Michael Fogarty, Mark A. Harwell, Robert W. Howarth, Curt Mason, Denise J. Reed, Thomas C. Royer, Asbury H. Sallenger, and James G. Titus. 2002. Climate change impacts on U.S. coastal and marine ecosystems. Estuaries 25: 149–164.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Schaefer, Sylvia C., and Merryl Alber. 2007. Temporal and spatial trends in nitrogen and phosphorus inputs to the watershed of the Altamaha River, Georgia, USA. Biogeochemistry 86: 231–249.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sheldon, Joan E., and Merryl Alber. 2002. A comparison of residence time calculations using simple compartment models of the Altamaha River estuary, Georgia. Estuaries 25: 1304–1317.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sheldon, Joan E., and Merryl Alber. 2003. Simulating material movement through the lower Altamaha River estuary using a 1-D box model. In Proceedings of the 2003 Georgia Water Resources Conference, ed. Kathryn J. Hatcher. Athens, Georgia: Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia.

  • Sheldon, Joan E., and Merryl Alber. 2005. Comparing transport times through salinity zones in the Ogeechee and Altamaha River estuaries using SqueezeBox. In Proceedings of the 2005 Georgia Water Resources Conference, ed. Kathryn J. Hatcher. Athens, Georgia: Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia.

  • Smith, Catherine A., and Prashant D. Sardeshmukh. 2000. The effect of ENSO on the intraseasonal variance of surface temperatures in winter. International Journal of Climatology 20: 1543–1557.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith, Steve. 2005. Hurricane landfalls and the Bermuda High. Carvill White Paper.

  • Smith, Shawn R., Justin Brolley, James J. O'Brien, and Carissa A. Tartaglione. 2007. ENSO's impact on regional U.S. hurricane activity. Journal of Climate 20: 1404–1414.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Stahle, David W., and Malcolm K. Cleaveland. 1992. Reconstruction and analysis of spring rainfall over the southeastern U.S. for the past 1000 years. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 73: 1947–1961.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Straus, David M., and J. Shukla. 2002. Does ENSO force the PNA? Journal of Climate 15: 2340–2358.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Suleiman, Ayman A., and Gerrit Hoogenboom. 2007. Comparison of Priestley–Taylor and FAO-56 Penman–Monteith for daily reference evapotranspiration estimation in Georgia. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering 133: 175–182.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Takahashi, K., A. Montecinos, K. Goubanova, and Boris Dewitte. 2011. ENSO regimes: reinterpreting the canonical and Modoki El Niño Geophysical Research Letters 38: L10704. doi: 10.1029/2011GL047364.

  • Tappin, Alan D., J.R.W. Harris, and R.J. Uncles. 2003. The fluxes and transformations of suspended particles, carbon and nitrogen in the Humber estuarine system (UK) from 1994 to 1996: results from an integrated observation and modelling study. Science of the Total Environment 314–316: 665–713.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tootle, Glenn A., Thomas C. Piechota, and Ashok Singh. 2005. Coupled oceanic–atmospheric variability and U.S. streamflow. Water Resources Research 41: W12408. doi: 10.1029/2005WR004381.

  • Trenberth, Kevin E. 1976. Spatial and temporal variations of the Southern Oscillation. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 102: 639–653.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Trenberth, Kevin E. 1984. Signal versus noise in the Southern Oscillation. Monthly Weather Review 112: 326–332.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Valiela, Ivan, Kenneth Foreman, Michael LaMontagne, Douglas Hersh, Joseph Costa, Paulette Peckol, Barbara DeMeo-Andreson, Charlene D'Avanzo, Michele Babione, Chi-Ho Sham, John Brawley, and Kate Lajtha. 1992. Couplings of watersheds and coastal waters, sources and consequences of nutrient enrichment in Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts. Estuaries 15: 443–457.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Von Storch, H., and F.W. Zwiers. 2003. Statistical analysis in climate research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wallace, John M., and David S. Gutzler. 1981. Teleconnections in the geopotential height field during the northern hemisphere winter. Monthly Weather Review 109: 784–812.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Weng, Hengyi, Karumuri Ashok, Swadhin K. Behera, Suryachandra A. Rao, and Toshio Yamagata. 2007. Impacts of recent El Niño Modoki on dry/wet conditions in the Pacific rim during boreal summer. Climate Dynamics 29: 113–129.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Weng, Hengyi, Swadhin K. Behera, and Toshio Yamagata. 2009. Anomalous winter climate conditions in the Pacific rim during recent El Niño Modoki and El Niño events. Climate Dynamics 32: 663–674.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Weston, Nathaniel B., James T. Hollibaugh, Jack Sandow, and Samantha B. Joye. 2003. Nutrients and dissolved organic matter in the Altamaha River and loading to the coastal zone. In Proceedings of the 2003 Georgia Water Resources Conference, ed. Kathryn J. Hatcher. Athens, Georgia: Institute of Ecology, University of Georgia.

  • Weston, Nathaniel B., Ray E. Dixon, and Samantha B. Joye. 2006. Ramifications of increased salinity in tidal freshwater sediments: geochemistry and microbial pathways of organic matter mineralization. Journal of Geophysical Research 111, G01009. doi:10.1029/2005JG000071.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wetz, Michael S., Emily A. Hutchinson, Ross S. Lunetta, Hans W. Paerl, and J. Christopher Taylor. 2011. Severe droughts reduce estuarine primary productivity with cascading effects on higher trophic levels. Limnology and Oceanography 56: 627–638.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Whitall, David, Brad Hendrickson, and Hans W. Paerl. 2003. Importance of atmospherically deposited nitrogen to the annual nitrogen budget of the Neuse River estuary, North Carolina. Environment International 29: 393–399.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • White, Susan N., and Merryl Alber. 2009. Drought-associated shifts in Spartina alterniflora and S. cynosuroides in the Altamaha River estuary. Wetlands 29: 215–224.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wilks, Daniel S. 2011. Statistical Methods in the Atmospheric Sciences, 3rd ed. Academic Press.

  • Wolter, Klaus, and Michael S. Timlin. 1993. Monitoring ENSO in COADS with a seasonally adjusted principal component index. In Proceedings of the 17th Climate Diagnostics Workshop, 52–57. Norman, OK: NOAA/NMC/CAC, NSSL, Oklahoma Clim. Survey, CIMMS and the School of Meteor., Univ. of Oklahoma.

  • Yeh, Sang-Wook, Jong-Seong Kug, Boris Dewitte, Min-Ho Kwon, Ben P. Kirtman, and Fei-Fei Jin. 2009. El Niño in a changing climate. Nature 461: 511–514.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zhang, Yuan, John M. Wallace, and David S. Battisti. 1997. ENSO-like Interdecadal Variability: 1990–93. Journal of Climate 10: 1004–1020.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgments

We thank David Stooksbury, Mark Ohman, and Merryl Alber for discussions related to these analyses, and Pam Knox for assistance in acquiring meteorological data. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation through the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems Long-Term Ecological Research program under grant numbers OCE-9982133 and OCE-0620959.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Joan E. Sheldon.

Additional information

Communicated by Dennis Swaney

Electronic Supplementary Material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

ESM 1

(DOC 169 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Sheldon, J.E., Burd, A.B. Alternating Effects of Climate Drivers on Altamaha River Discharge to Coastal Georgia, USA. Estuaries and Coasts 37, 772–788 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-013-9715-z

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-013-9715-z

Keywords

  • Climate signals
  • Precipitation
  • Discharge
  • Altamaha River
  • Estuary
  • Tropical storms