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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2016-06-07
    Description: Current meters and temperature-salinity recorders confirm the assumption that the upper layers of the continental shelf waters off Chesapeake Bay can be banded in summer, such that the coastal boundary layer (consisting of the Bay outflow) and the outer shelf flow southward while the inner shelf flows to the north, driven by the prevailing southerly winds. These measurements show that the estuary itself may also be banded in its lower reaches such that the inflow is confined primarily to the deep channel, while the upper layer outflow is split into two flow maxima on either side of this channel.
    Keywords: OCEANOGRAPHY
    Type: NASA. Langley Research Center Chesapeake Bay Plume Study; p 61-78
    Format: application/pdf
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1573-515X
    Keywords: continental shelf ; estuaries ; mass balance ; nitrogen ; North Atlantic ; nutrient budget ; phosphorus
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Geosciences
    Notes: Abstract Five large rivers that discharge on the western North Atlantic continental shelf carry about 45% of the nitrogen (N) and 70% of the phosphorus (P) that others estimate to be the total flux of these elements from the entire North Atlantic watershed, including North, Central and South America, Europe, and Northwest Africa. We estimate that 61 · 109 moles y−1 of N and 20 · 109 moles y−1 of P from the large rivers are buried with sediments in their deltas, and that an equal amount of N and P from the large rivers is lost to the shelf through burial of river sediments that are deposited directly on the continental slope. The effective transport of active N and P from land to the shelf through the very large rivers is thus reduced to 292 · 109 moles y−1 of N and 13 · 109 moles y−1 of P. The remaining riverine fluxes from land must pass through estuaries. An analysis of annual total N and total P budgets for various estuaries around the North Atlantic revealed that the net fractional transport of these nutrients through estuaries to the continental shelf is inversely correlated with the log mean residence time of water in the system. This is consistent with numerous observations of nutrient retention and loss in temperate lakes. Denitrification is the major process responsible for removing N in most estuaries, and the fraction of total N input that is denitrified appears to be directly proportional to the log mean water residence time. In general, we estimate that estuarine processes retain and remove 30–65% of the total N and 10–55% of the total P that would otherwise pass into the coastal ocean. The resulting transport through estuaries to the shelf amounts to 172–335 · 109 moles y−1 of N and 11–19 · 109 moles y−1 of P. These values are similar to the effective contribution from the large rivers that discharge directly on the shelf. For the North Atlantic shelf as a whole, N fluxes from major rivers and estuaries exceed atmospheric deposition by a factor of 3.5–4.7, but this varies widely among regions of the shelf. For example, on the U.S. Atlantic shelf and on the northwest European shelf, atmospheric deposition of N may exceed estuarine exports. Denitrification in shelf sediments exceeds the combined N input from land and atmosphere by a factor of 1.4–2.2. This deficit must be met by a flux of N from the deeper ocean. Burial of organic matter fixed on the shelf removes only a small fraction of the total N and P input (2–12% of N from land and atmosphere; 1–17% of P), but it may be a significant loss for P in the North Sea and some other regions. The removal of N and P in fisheries landings is very small. The gross exchange of N and P between the shelf and the open ocean is much larger than inputs from land and, for the North Atlantic shelf as a whole, it may be much larger than the N and P removed through denitrification, burial, and fisheries. Overall, the North Atlantic continental shelf appears to remove some 700–950· 109 moles of N each year from the deep ocean and to transport somewhere between 18 and 30 · 109 moles of P to the open sea. If the N and P associated with riverine sediments deposited on the continental slope are included in the total balance, the net flux of N to the shelf is reduced by 60 · 109 moles y−1 and the P flux to the ocean is increased by 20 · 109 moles y−1. These conclusions are quite tentative, however, because of large uncertainties in our estimates of some important terms in the shelf mass balance.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019-07-20
    Description: In fulfillment of requirements of the Maryland Commission on Climate Change Act of 2015, this report provides updated projections of the amount of sea-level rise relative to Maryland coastal lands that is expected into the next century. These projections represent the consensus of an Expert Group drawn from the Mid-Atlantic region. The framework for these projections is explicitly tied to the projections of global sea-level rise included in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment (2014) and incorporates regional factors such as subsidence, distance from melting glaciers and polar ice sheets, and ocean currents. The probability distribution of estimates of relative sea-level rise from the baseline year of 2000 are provided over time and, after 2050, for three different greenhouse gas emissions pathways: Growing Emissions (RCP8.5), Stabilized Emissions (RCP4.5), and meeting the Paris Agreement (RCP2.6). This framework has been recently used in developing relative sea-level rise projections for California, Oregon, Washington, New Jersey, and Delaware as well as several metropolitan areas. The Likely range (66% probability) of the relative rise of mean sea level expected in Maryland between 2000 and 2050 is 0.8 to 1.6 feet, with about a one-in-twenty chance it could exceed 2.0 feet and about a one-in-one hundred chance it could exceed 2.3 feet. Later this century, rates of sea-level rise increasingly depend on the future pathway of global emissions of greenhouse gases during the next sixty years. If emissions continue to grow well into the second half of the 21st century, the Likely range of sea-level rise experienced in Maryland is 2.0 to 4.2 feet over this century, two to four times the sea-level rise experienced during the 20th century. Moreover, there is a one-in-twenty chance that it could exceed 5.2 feet. If, on the other hand, global society were able to bring net greenhouse gas emissions to zero in time to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement and reduce emissions sufficient to limit the increase in global mean temperature to less than 2Celsius over pre-industrial levels, the Likely range for 2100 is 1.2 to 3.0 feet, with a one-in-twenty chance that it would exceed 3.7 feet. The difference in sea-level rise between these contrasting scenarios would diverge even more during the next century, with the failure to reduce emissions in the near term resulting in much greater sea-level rise 100 years from now. Moreover, recent research suggests that, without imminent and substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the loss of polar ice sheets-and thus the rate of sea-level rise-may be more rapid than assumed in these projections, particularly under the Growing Emissions scenario. These probabilistic sea-level rise projections can and should be used in planning and regulation, infrastructure siting and design, estimation of changes in tidal range and storm surge, developing inundation mapping tools, and adaptation strategies for high-tide flooding and saltwater intrusion.
    Keywords: Geosciences (General)
    Type: GSFC-E-DAA-TN64580
    Format: application/pdf
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