Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Southern Coastal Bays Water Levels

contact: Rich Ortt (  

Hydrodynamic Modeling in the Southern Coastal Bays: Water level monitoring, September 7-October 12, 2004

Darlene V. Wells, Stephen VanRyswick, Richard A. Ortt, Jr., Robert D. Conkwright, and
Katherine A. Offerman

Executive Summary

Study Area Index Map     Chincoteague Bay is considered to be the most pristine of the Delmarva coastal bays. However, recent monitoring studies of the coastal bays have documented problems with low dissolved oxygen (DO) in Chincoteague Bay. In order to identify the cause of the low DO, additional information is needed on nutrient cycling within the coastal bays. The first step to developing a sophisticated ecological model for the bays is determining the hydrodynamic processes that control the circulation of the nutrients and the distribution of free-floating phytoplankton and macroalgae.

     Over the past decade, the Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research & Development Center, Coastal & Hydraulics Laboratory (CHL) has been developing a comprehensive circulation model for the North Atlantic. This numeric model has been fine-tuned in the Ocean City Inlet area by increasing the computational mesh resolution in the vicinity of the Inlet and collecting current and tide data for model calibration. This fine-tuning was done to support of the Corps’ rehabilitation of the South Jetty (Ocean City Inlet) and various projects relating to the Constructions Phase of the Ocean City and Vicinity Water Resource Project.

      The Maryland Department of Natural Resources under a MCBP Implementation grant, initiated a project to collect additional tide and current data needed to refine the grid size and validate the model in Chincoteague, Newport and Sinepuxent Bays. This project consisted of two study components conducted over a one-month period:

  1. The University of Maryland, Center for Environmental Science (UMCES) monitored currents velocities at Chincoteague and Ocean City Inlets utilizing both fixed Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCP) and towed ADCPs;

  2. Concurrent with the UMCES ADCP monitoring, the Maryland Geological survey recorded water levels at four locations in the southern bays. Descriptions of the instrumentation and methods used by the Maryland Geological Survey to collect the water level data are presented in this report.

Descriptions of the instrumentation and methods used by the Maryland Geological Survey to collect the water level data are presented in this report.

Table of Contents

Study Area
Elevation determinations of water level recorders
Quality Assurance of data
Appendix A: Site information on water level recorders
Appendix B: Quality Assurance/Quality Control
Appendix C: Benchmark Data Sheets

Downloads and Data

File Report 2004-06 including data files in ASCII and Excel formats and reports in PDF format (zipped, 2,195 kB)

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