Estuaries

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Authors:Bricker, Owen P.; Wiley, Suzanne B.
Author Affiliations:Primary:
2632 White Hall Road, White Hall, MD, United States
Volume Title:Geological Society of America, 2006 annual meeting
Source:Abstracts with Programs - Geological Society of America, 38(7), p.55; Geological Society of America, 2006 annual meeting, Philadelphia, PA, Oct. 22-25, 2006. Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States. ISSN: 0016-7592
Publication Date:2006
Note:In English
Summary:Estuaries are short-lived ephemeral features of the Earth's crust. The life of the Chesapeake Bay estuary has been temporarily extended due to rising sea level in this locality, but the ultimate fate of the Bay is the same as every other estuary. The demise of the Chesapeake Bay has been accelerated by the population density around it's shore. In 1972 the population was about 12 million; today there are approximately 16 million people living in the Bay area. The impervious surfaces have increased at roughly 5 times the population, leading to greater erosion, flashiness and more intense runoff. With the increase in population in the Bay area came, not only sediment and runoff, but pollutants from garbage, overstressed sewage treatment plants, medical waste, agricultural runoff, and runoff from lawns and golf courses. Sediments and their accompanying pollutants stress the living resources of the Bay by reducing light penetration and smothering bottom-dwelling organisms, in addition to being toxic to many of the life forms. Some years ago, the Bay waters were filtered by oysters, but in recent years the oyster population has been decimated by overfishing and consequently the fine particles can stay suspended in the water column for long periods of time and reduce light penetration to rooted aquatic plants. This has a deleterious effect on plant life and on the Bay in general.
Subjects:Aquatic environment; Ecology; Erosion; Estuaries; Plantae; Pollution; Runoff; Sediments; Toxic materials; Atlantic Coastal Plain; Chesapeake Bay; United States
Coordinates:N365500 N393700 W0754000 W0763300
Record ID:2008044227
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2018 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
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