Science Serving Maryland's Coasts
Jeffrey Cornwell, Ph.D.
Horn Point Laboratory
High Resolution Biogeochemical Distributions in the Chesapeake Bay Pycnocline
The Chesapeake Bay’s water quality has been affected over many years of human activity. Agricultural runoff and wastewater deposits has resulted in eutrophication of the bay which have affected the chemical make-up of the bay. In this study, vertical biogeochemical distributions of the bay were determined. Observations included vertical distributions of ammonium (NH4+), hydrogen sulfide (H2S), oxygen (O2) concentrations and consumption rate and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and its rate of production. As in other studies, the results showed that the O2 content of surface water was drastically higher than deeper waters. However, this approach captures the O2 and H2S transitional regions in detail that has not previously been observed. Such detailed vertical distributions provide essential clues about underlying biogeochemical processes.
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