Chesapeake Bay Circulation Survey: 1981-1983
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Chesapeake Bay Circulation Survey: 1981-1983

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  • NOAA Program & Office:
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    One of the major goals of the National Ocean Service (NOS), a major element of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), is to define the tidal circulation in the Nation's estuaries and waterways for navigation purposes. In an investigation of the historical data files at NOS, it was found that the latest circulation survey conducted in the Chesapeake Bay in 1964 was for only a small area in the Bay. The instrumentation used was outdated and the duration of observations was inadequate according to modern standards. Earlier surveys conducted in the Chesapeake Bay with even more rudimentary instrumentation and shorter observation periods took place in the 1920's and 1930's. Bathymetric changes in the Bay from natural sediment transport and dredging have changed the tidal hydrodynamics considerably since these surveys were conducted. With these considerations and in response to requests from other Federal agencies, State and local governments, and commercial and academic concerns, it was determined that the need was critical for a comprehensive circulation survey of the entire Chesapeake Bay using the vastly improved measurement technology available today. During August 1981, NOS began a 2 1/2 year circulation survey of the Chesapeake Bay from its entrance to the Susquehanna River, through the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and into the Delaware River.
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