Date of Award

Fall 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Ocean & Earth Sciences



Committee Director

Larry P. Atkinson

Committee Member

John Klinck

Committee Member

Arnoldo Valle-Levinson

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.O35 L36 2007


Underway measurements of salinity and flow profiles were used to compute salt fluxes at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay in spring and summer. Waters were sampled along a cross-bay transect over four tidal cycles in 1997: at the end of April, during neap tides, and in mid-July, during spring tides. Data were interpolated onto a uniform grid along the transect area. A least squares regression with semidiurnal and diurnal harmonics was fit on both salinity and flow at each point of the grid to separate tidal from non-tidal influences. The results of the least squares fit were used to reconstruct two semi-diurnal tidal cycles and to make comparisons between the total salt flux and the sum of the residual plus tidal salt flux. Values of salinity, velocity, and total salt flux determined from the least-squares fit, reconstructed over a 25 hour period, compared well with those values observed directly. In the stratified April water column, total salt flux was closely approximated by the sum of residual and tidal salt fluxes. The July water column was less stratified than April. Accordingly, total salt flux could not be explained by the sum of residual and tidal salt flux alone, showing that the effects of dispersion can not be ignored in a mixed water column.


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