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Title The Effects of Tidal Forcing on Nutrient Fluxes in the Tidal, Freshwater James River Estuary, VA
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Publication Date
Degree MS
Discipline/Department Environmental Studies
Degree Level thesis
University/Publisher Virginia Commonwealth University
Abstract A 12-month study (January to December 2015) focused on the effects of tidal forcing on nutrient fluxes in the tidal, freshwater segment of the James River Estuary (JRE). Discrete sampling of nutrient chemistry and continuous monitoring of tidal discharge were used to determine the volume and timing of the tides, and differences in nutrient concentrations between incoming and outgoing tides. The goal of this study was to improve understanding of tidal influence on nutrient fluxes and their role in nutrient transport to the lower estuary. Results suggested that differences in nutrient concentrations between incoming and outgoing tides were small throughout the year. This finding suggests that nutrient fluxes at the study site, near the tidal fresh-oligohaline boundary of the James, are largely determined by tidal volume owing to weak concentrations gradients. Changes in water quality during seaward and landward tidal excursions into deeper versus shallower segments were analyzed to infer biogeochemical processes. Differences in oxygen production and nitrate utilization suggest greater autotrophy during landward excursions, consistent with more favorable light conditions. This work was conducted as a collaborative effort between Virginia Commonwealth University, the USGS, Randolph-Macon College, and Washington and Lee University participating in the “Mountains to the Sea” project.
Subjects/Keywords Tidal forcing; nutrient fluxes; freshwater estuary; James River; Life Sciences; Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology
Contributors Paul Bukaveckas
Country of Publication us
Record ID oai:scholarscompass.vcu.edu:etd-5622
Repository vcu
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2020-07-20
Created Date 2016-01-01 08:00:00

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