EFFECTS OF FLOODING ON A COASTAL PLAIN ESTUARY

Evon P. Ruzecki, William J. Hargis, Ching S. Fang

Abstract


Rains from Tropical Storm Agnes resulted in unprecedented flooding of the Chesapeake Bay drainage basin in June of 19 72. A monitoring program was established to follow the effects of the flood in the Chesapeake estuarine system and contiguous continental shelf waters. Financial and logistic assistance was solicited and obtained from several federal and state agencies. The monitoring program, called "Operation Agnes" offered scientists a unique opportunity to watch the progress of the flood. Results of investigations into the effects of the flood show that salinity structure exhibited a four stage reaction, tides in the lower reaches of the estuaries were essentially uneffected and currents returned to normal after a short period of continuous ebbing. Total recovery of the salinity distribution was affected within one hundred days of flood crest at the fall line.

Keywords


flooding; estuary; plain estuary

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