Estuarine Salinity Zones in US East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and US West Coast from 1999-01-01 to 1999-12-31 (NCEI Accession 0127396)

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These unprojected (geographic coordinates) 3-Zone Average Annual Salinity Digital Geographies are based on analysis of long-term salinity data for 147 estuaries of the contiguous United States. Each estuary is subdivided into three zones between the head(s) of tide, and the seaward boundaries based on annual-averaged and depth-averaged salinities. The salinities used to define the three zones are: (1) Tidal Fresh Zone (0 to 0.5 parts per thousand); (2) Mixing Zone (0.5 to 25 parts per thousand); (3) Seawater Zone (25 parts per thousand or greater).

This 3-zone scheme is considered static rather than dynamic, because it does not take into account the seasonal variations in salinity patterns and stratification that occur in most estuaries. Nonetheless, it provides a simple and readily understandable way to depict the long-term salinity characteristics of U.S. estuarine waters. Note that not all estuaries contain all three zones - for example, Baffin Bay, Texas, receives relatively little annual freshwater inflow, and is considered to be entirely Seawater Zone. This 3-zone scheme was originally presented in the National Estuarine Inventory (NEI) Data Atlas, Vol. I (NOAA/NOS 1985) for 92 estuaries of the contiguous United States. In the 1990s, digital geographies were refined and many estuaries were added to become a key layer within the Coastal Assessment Framework (NOAA 2007).

These 3-Zone Average Annual Salinity Digital Geography have been used for applications in natural resource science and management. They provided the spatial framework and basis for development of NOAA's Estuarine Living Marine Resources (ELMR) Program (Nelson and Monaco 2000), and also for NOAA's National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment (Bricker et al. 2007).
  • Cite as: Nelson, David Moe; US DOC/NOAA > National Ocean Service (2015). Estuarine Salinity Zones in US East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and US West Coast from 1999-01-01 to 1999-12-31 (NCEI Accession 0127396). Version 1.1. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. [access date]
gov.noaa.nodc:0127396
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  • Originator data format
Ordering Instructions Data may be searched and downloaded using online services provided by NCEI using the online resource URLs in this record. Contact NCEI Information Services for custom orders. When requesting data from NCEI, the desired data set may be referred to by the unique package identification number listed in this metadata record.
Distributor DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Dataset Point of Contact Information Services
DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
301-713-3277
NCEI.Info@noaa.gov
Time Period 1999-01-01 to 1999-12-31
Spatial Bounding Box Coordinates
N: 48.5
S: 24.8
E: -66.9
W: -124.5
Spatial Coverage Map
General Documentation
Associated Resources
  • National Estuarine Inventory Data Atlas, Volume 1: Physical and Hydrologic Characteristics
  • Estuarine Living Marine Resources: Mid-Atlantic Regional Distribution and Abundance (NCEI Accession 0162403)
  • Estuarine Living Marine Resources: North Atlantic Regional Distribution and Abundance (NCEI Accession 0162402)
  • Estuarine Living Marine Resources: West Coast Regional Distribution and Abundance (NCEI Accession 0161540)
  • Estuarine Living Marine Resources: Southeast Regional Distribution and Abundance (NCEI Accession 0163992)
  • Estuarine Living Marine Resources: Gulf of Mexico Regional Distribution and Abundance (NCEI Accession 0163993)
  • Estuarine Species Database for the NOAA Estuarine Living Marine Resources Program
Publication Dates
  • publication: 2015-04-22
Edition 1.1
Data Presentation Form Digital table - digital representation of facts or figures systematically displayed, especially in columns
Dataset Progress Status Complete - production of the data has been completed
Data Update Frequency As needed
Supplemental Information
Submission Package ID: U58WL4
Purpose Basic research
Use Limitations
  • accessLevel: Public
  • Distribution liability: NOAA and NCEI make no warranty, expressed or implied, regarding these data, nor does the fact of distribution constitute such a warranty. NOAA and NCEI cannot assume liability for any damages caused by any errors or omissions in these data. If appropriate, NCEI can only certify that data it distributes are an authentic copy of the records that were accepted for inclusion in the NCEI archives.
Dataset Citation
  • Cite as: Nelson, David Moe; US DOC/NOAA > National Ocean Service (2015). Estuarine Salinity Zones in US East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and US West Coast from 1999-01-01 to 1999-12-31 (NCEI Accession 0127396). Version 1.1. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. [access date]
Cited Authors
Resource Providers
Publishers
Theme keywords NODC DATA TYPES THESAURUS NODC OBSERVATION TYPES THESAURUS WMO_CategoryCode
  • oceanography
Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Science and Services Keywords
  • EARTH SCIENCE > OCEANS > SALINITY/DENSITY > SALINITY
NOS Data Explorer Topic Category
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Tides and Currents
Originator Theme Keywords
  • estuary
  • salinity
  • zones
Data Center keywords Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Data Center Keywords
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NODC > National Oceanographic Data Center, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NESDIS/NCEI > National Centers for Environmental Information, NESDIS, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • DOC/NOAA/NOS > National Ocean Service, NOAA, U.S. Department of Commerce
NODC SUBMITTING INSTITUTION NAMES THESAURUS
Place keywords NODC SEA AREA NAMES THESAURUS Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Location Keywords
  • OCEAN > ATLANTIC OCEAN > NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN
  • OCEAN > ATLANTIC OCEAN > NORTH ATLANTIC OCEAN > GULF OF MEXICO
  • OCEAN > PACIFIC OCEAN > NORTH PACIFIC OCEAN
Originator Place Keywords
  • Alabama
  • Alamitos Bay
  • Albemarle Sound
  • Alsea River
  • Altamaha River
  • Anaheim Bay
  • Apalachee Bay
  • Apalachicola Bay
  • Aransas Bay
  • Atchafalaya/Vermilion Bays
  • Baffin Bay
  • Barataria Bay
  • Barnegat Bay
  • Biscayne Bay
  • Blue Hill Bay
  • Bogue Sound
  • Boston Harbor
  • Brazos River
  • Breton/Chandeleur Sound
  • Broad River
  • Buzzards Bay
  • Calcasieu Lake
  • California
  • Caloosahatchee River
  • Cape Cod Bay
  • Cape Fear River
  • Casco Bay
  • Central San Francisco/San Pablo/Suisun Bays
  • Charleston Harbor
  • Charlotte Harbor
  • Chesapeake Bay Mainstem
  • Chester River
  • Chincoteague Bay
  • Choctawhatchee Bay
  • Choptank River
  • Coastal
  • Columbia River
  • Connecticut
  • Connecticut River
  • Contiguous
  • Coos Bay
  • Coquille River
  • Corpus Christi Bay
  • Coterminous
  • Damariscotta River
  • Delaware
  • Delaware Bay
  • Delaware Inland Bays
  • District of Columbia
  • Drakes Estero
  • Eastern Bay
  • Eel River
  • Elk/Sassafras Rivers
  • Elkhorn Slough
  • Englishman/Machias Bay
  • Estuaries
  • Florida
  • Florida Bay
  • Galveston Bay
  • Georgia
  • Grays Harbor
  • Great Bay
  • Great South Bay
  • Gulf Coast
  • Gulf of Maine
  • Gulf of Mexico
  • Hampton Harbor
  • Honga River
  • Hood Canal
  • Hudson River/Raritan Bay
  • Humboldt Bay
  • Indian River
  • Ingram/Fleets Bays
  • James River
  • Kennebec/Androscoggin Rivers
  • Klamath River
  • Laguna Madre
  • Lake Borgne
  • Lake Pontchartrain
  • Long Island Sound
  • Louisiana
  • Lynnhaven River
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Maryland Inland Bays
  • Massachusetts
  • Massachusetts Bay
  • Matagorda Bay
  • Mermentau River
  • Merrimack River
  • Mid-Atlantic
  • Mission Bay
  • Mississippi
  • Mississippi River
  • Mississippi Sound
  • Mobile Bay
  • Monterey Bay
  • Morro Bay
  • Muscongus Bay
  • Narragansett Bay
  • Narraguagus Bay
  • Nehalem River
  • Netarts Bay
  • Neuse River
  • New England
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Jersey Inland Bays
  • New River
  • New York
  • Newport Bay
  • North Atlantic
  • North Carolina
  • North/South Santee Rivers
  • Oregon
  • Ossabaw Sound
  • Pacific
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Pamlico Sound
  • Pamlico/Pungo Rivers
  • Passamaquoddy/Cobscook Bays
  • Patapsco/Gunpowder Rivers
  • Patuxent River
  • Peconic/Gardiners Bay
  • Pennsylvania
  • Penobscot Bay
  • Pensacola Bay
  • Perdido Bay
  • Piankatank River/Mobjack Bay
  • Plum Island Sound
  • Poquoson/Back Rivers
  • Port Orchard Sound
  • Potomac River
  • Puget Sound
  • Rappahannock River
  • Rhode Island
  • Rogue River
  • Rookery Bay
  • Sabine Lake
  • Saco Bay
  • San Antonio Bay
  • San Diego Bay
  • San Pedro Bay
  • Santa Monica Bay
  • Sarasota Bay
  • Savannah River
  • Severn River
  • Sheepscot Bay
  • Siletz Bay
  • Siuslaw River
  • Skagit Bay/Whidbey Basin
  • South Atlantic
  • South Carolina
  • South Puget Sound
  • South San Francisco Bay
  • Southeast
  • St. Andrew Bay
  • St. Andrew/St. Simons Sounds
  • St. Catherines/Sapelo Sounds
  • St. Helena Sound
  • St. Johns River
  • St. Marys River/Cumberland Sound
  • Stono/North Edisto Rivers
  • Suwannee River
  • Tampa Bay
  • Tangier/Pocomoke Sound
  • Ten Thousand Islands
  • Terrebone/Timbalier Bays
  • Texas
  • Tijuana Estuary
  • Tillamook Bay
  • Tomales Bay
  • Umpqua River
  • United States
  • Virginia
  • Virginia Eastern Shore
  • Waquoit Bay
  • Washington
  • Wells Bay
  • West Coast
  • Willapa Bay
  • Winyah Bay
  • Yaquina Bay
  • York River
Project keywords NODC PROJECT NAMES THESAURUS
Keywords NCEI ACCESSION NUMBER
Use Constraints
  • Cite as: Nelson, David Moe; US DOC/NOAA > National Ocean Service (2015). Estuarine Salinity Zones in US East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and US West Coast from 1999-01-01 to 1999-12-31 (NCEI Accession 0127396). Version 1.1. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. [access date]
Access Constraints
  • NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
Fees
  • Digital data may be downloaded from NCEI at no charge in most cases. For custom orders of digital data or to obtain a copy of analog materials, please contact NCEI Information Services for information about current fees.
Lineage information for: dataset
Processing Steps
  • 2015-04-22T16:52:17 - NCEI Accession 0127396 v1.1 was published.
Output Datasets
Lineage information for: dataset
Processing Steps
  • Data Type: SALINITY (calculated); Units: ppt; Observation Type: model output; Sampling Instrument: documentation only - no instrument type.
  • Data Type: ANALYSES - ANNUAL SUMMARIES (measured); Units: ppt; Observation Type: model output; Sampling Instrument: documentation only - no instrument type.
Last Modified: 2018-03-16T16:15:25
For questions about the information on this page, please email: NODC.DataOfficer@noaa.gov