Seasonal distributions of suspended particulate material and dissolved nutrients in a coastal plain estuary Article Received: 04 November 1985 Accepted: 14 May 1986 DOI:
Cite this article as: Ward, L.G. & Twilley, R.R. Estuaries (1986) 9: 156. doi:10.2307/1352127 Abstract
The temporal and spatial distributions of salinity, dissolved oxygen, suspended particulate material (SPM), and dissolved nutrients were determined during 1983 in the Choptank River, an estuarine tributary of Chesapeake Bay. During winter and spring freshets, the middle estuary was strongly stratified with changes in salinity of up to 5‰ occurring over 1 m depth intervals. Periodically, the lower estuary was stratified due to the intrusion of higher salinity water from the main channel of Chesapeake Bay. During summer this intrusion caused minimum oxygen and maximum NH
4 + concentrations at the mouth of the Choptank River estuary. Highest concentrations of SPM, particulate carbon (PC), particulate nitrogen (PN), total nitrogen (TN), total phosphorous (TP) and dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) occurred in the upper estuary during the early spring freshet. In contrast, minimum soluble reactive phosphate (SRP) concentrations were highest in the upper estuary in summer when freshwater discharge was low. In spring, PC:PN ratios were >13, indicating a strong influence by allochthonous plant detritus on PC and PN concentrations. However, high concentrations of PC and PN in fall coincided with maximum chlorophyll a concentrations and PC:PN ratios were <8, indicating in situ productivity controlled PC and PN levels. During late spring and summer, DIN concentrations decreased from >100 to <10 μg-at l −1, resulting mainly from the nonconservative behavior of NO 3 −, which dominated the DIN pool. Atomic ratios of both the inorganic and total forms of N and P exceeded 100 in spring, but by summer, ratios decreased to <5 and <15, respectively. The seasonal and spatial changes in both absolute concentrations and ratios of N and P reflect the strong influence of allochthonous inputs on nutrient distributions in spring, followed by the effects of internal processes in summer and fall. Literature cited Alban, M. N., D. L. Fisher
T. R. Fisher
. 1984. Nitrogen, phosphorous, and iron loading records (1979–1983) for the Choptank River, a subestuary of Chesapeake Bay.
EOS Trans. Am. Geophys. Union
Google Scholar Banse, K., C. P. Falls
L. A. Hobson
. 1963. A gravimetric method for determining suspended matter in sea water using Millipore filters.
Google Scholar Berg, J. A.
1984. Temporal and spatial variations of seston as a food resource to the oyster,
. M.S. Thesis, Univ. of Maryland, Cambridge. 220 p.
Google Scholar Boynton, W. R., W. M. Kemp
C. W. Keefe
. 1982. A comparative analysis of nutrients and other factors influencing estuarine phytoplankton production, p. 69–90.
V. S. Kennedy (ed.), Estuarine Comparisons. Academic Press, New York.
Google Scholar Cronin, W. B.
D. W. Pritchard
. 1975. Additional statistics on the dimensions of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries; Cross-section widths and segment volumes per meter depth. Chesapeake Bay Institute Rep. 442, Johns Hopkins Univ., Shadyside, Maryland. 475 p.
Google Scholar Elkins, J. W., S. C. Wofsy, M. B. McElroy
W. A. Kaplan
. 1982. Nitrification and production of N
O in the Potomac: Evidence for variability, p. 447–464.
B. Neilson and L. E. Cronin (eds.), Estuaries and Nutrients. Humana Press, Clifton.
Google Scholar Fairbridge, R. W.
1980. The estuary: Its definition and geodynamic cycle, p. 1–35.
E. Olausson and I. Cato (eds.), Chemistry and Biogeochemistry of Estuaries. John Wiley and Sons. New York.
Google Scholar Halka, J. P.
1982. Chesapeake Bay Earth Science Atlas Number 4. Choptank River and Herring Bay. Maryland Geological Survey, Baltimore.
Google Scholar Kemp, W. M.
W. R. Boynton
. 1985. Spatial and temporal coupling of nutrient inputs to estuarine primary production: The role of particulate transport and decomposition.
Bull. Mar. Sci.
Google Scholar Kemp, W. M., T. Malone
W. R. Boynton
. 1984. Wind forcing of the pycnocline and effects on estuarine phytoplankton.
EOS Trans. Am. Geophys. Union
Google Scholar Kofoed, J. W.
D. S. Gorsline
. 1966. Sediments of the Choptank River, Maryland.
Google Scholar Liss, P. S.
1976. Conservative and nonconservative behaviour of dissolved constituents during estuarine mixing, p. 93–130.
J. D. Burton and P. S. Liss (eds.), Estuarine Chemistry. Academic Press. New York.
Google Scholar Lomax, K. M.
J. C. Stevenson
. 1982. Diffuse source loadings from flat coastal plain watersheds: Water movements and nutrient budgets. Dep. Nat. Resour., Tidewater Admin., Annapolis. 72 p.
Google Scholar National Climatic Data Center. 1982. Monthly normals of temperature, precipitation, and heating and cooling days 1951–1980: Maryland-District of Columbia. Climatolography of the United States, Number 81, Ashville. Officer, C. B., R. B. Biggs, J. L. Taft, L. E. Cronin, M. A. Tyler
W. R. Boynton
. 1984. Chesapeake Bay anoxia: origin, development, and significance.
CrossRef Google Scholar Parsons, T. R., K. Stephens
J. D. H. Strickland
. 1961. On the chemical composition of eleven species of marine phytoplankters.
J. Fish. Res. Board Can.
Google Scholar Pritchard, D. W.
J. R. Schubel
. 1981. Physical and geological processes controlling nutrient levels in estuaries, p. 47–69.
B. J. Neilson and L. E. Cronin (eds.), Estuaries and Nutrients. Humana Press, Clifton.
Google Scholar Redfield, A. C., B. H. Ketchum, and F. A. Richards. 1963. The influence of organisms on the composition of seawater, p. 26–77. In M. N. Hill (ed.), The Sea, Vol. 2. Interscience. Seitz, R. C.
1971. Drainage area statistics for the Chesapeake Bay freshwater drainage basin. Chesapeake Bay Institute Reference 71-I, Special Rept. 19. Johns Hopkins Univ., Shadyside, Maryland.
Google Scholar Sharp, J. H., C. H. Culberson
T. M. Church
. 1982. The chemistry of the Delaware estuary, general considerations.
CrossRef Google Scholar Sinclair, M., D. V. Subba Rao
. 1981. Phytoplankton temporal distributions in estuaries.
Google Scholar Strickland, J. D. H.
T. R. Parsons
. 1968. A Practical Handbook of Seawater Analysis. Fish. Res. Board Can., Ontario. 311 p.
Google Scholar Taft, J. L.
W. R. Taylor
. 1976. Phosphorus dynamics in some coastal plain estuaries, p. 79–89.
M. Wiley (ed.), Estuarine Processes, Vol. 1. Academic Press, New York.
Google Scholar Twilley, R. R., and W. M. Kemp. (in press) The relation of denitrification potentials to selected physical and chemical factors in sediments of Chesapeake Bay. In D. A. Wolfe (ed.), Estuarine Variability. Academic Press, New York. U.S. Department of Commerce
. 1983a. Tide Tables, East Coast of North and South America. U.S. Dep. Commerce, NOAA, National Ocean Survey, Rockville.
Google Scholar U.S. Department of Commerce
. 1983b. Tidal Current Tables, Atlantic Coast of North America. U.S. Dep. Commerce, NOAA, National Ocean Survey, Rockville.
Google Scholar U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 1979. Methods for Chemical Analysis of Water and Wastes. USEPA-600/4-79-020, Cincinnati, Ohio. U.S. Geological Survey. 1983. Water Resources Data for Maryland and Delaware. Water Data Reports MD-DE-83-1. U.S. Geological Survey. 1984. Water Resources Data for Maryland and Delaware. Water Data Reports MD-DE-84-1. Valderrama, J. C.
1981. The simultaneous analysis of total nitrogen and total phosphorous in natural waters.
CrossRef Google Scholar Ward, L. G.
1985. The influence of wind waves and tidal currents on sediment resuspension in middle Chesapeake Bay.
CrossRef Google Scholar Ward, L. G., W. M. Kemp
W. R. Boynton
. 1984. The influence of waves and seagrass communities on suspended particulates in an estuarine embayment.
CrossRef Google Scholar Yarbro, L. A., P. R. Carlson
R. Crump, J. Chanton, T. R. Fisher, N. Burger
W. M. Kemp
. 1981. Seston dynamics and a seston budget for the Choptank River estuary in Maryland. Dep. Nat. Resour., Tidewater Admin., Annapolis, Maryland. 223 p.
Google Scholar Yarbro, L. A., P. R. Carlson
T. R. Fisher, J. Chanton
W. M. Kemp
. 1983. A sediment budget for the Choptank River estuary in Maryland, U.S.A.
Estuarine Coastal Shelf Sci.
CrossRef Google Scholar Copyright information
© Estuarine Research Federation 1986