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New York Harbor Estuary

A cache by Titansfan
Hidden : 8/29/2010
In New York, United States
2.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: other (other)

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Geocache Description:

The earthcache is located along a public park in Lower Manhattan which stretches along the Hudson River.

An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.

Estuaries form a transition zone between river environments and ocean environments and are subject to both marine influences, such as tides, waves, and the influx of saline water; and riverine influences, such as flows of fresh water and sediment. The inflow of both seawater and freshwater provide high levels of nutrients in both the water column and sediment, making estuaries among the most productive natural habitats in the world

Most modern-day estuaries were formed during the Holocene epoch by the flooding of river-eroded or glacially-scoured valleys when sea level began to rise about 10,000-12,000 years ago.[3] Estuaries are typically classified by their geomorphological features or by water circulation patterns and can be referred to by many different names, such as bays, harbors, lagoons, inlets, or sounds, although sometimes these water bodies do not necessarily meet the above criteria of an estuary and may be fully saline.

Estuaries are amongst the most heavily populated areas throughout the world, with about 60% of the world’s population living along estuaries and the coast. As a result, estuaries are suffering degradation by many factors, including sedimentation from soil erosion from deforestation; overgrazing and other poor farming practices; overfishing; drainage and filling of wetlands; eutrophication due to excessive nutrients from sewage and animal wastes; pollutants including heavy metals, PCBs, radionuclides and hydrocarbons from sewage inputs; and diking or damming for flood control or water diversion

Drowned river valleys, many drowned river valley estuaries were formed between about 15,000 and 6000 years ago following the end of the Wisconsin (or 'Devensian') glaciation when a eustatic rise in sea level of 100 m to 130 m, flooded river valleys that were cut into the landscape when sea level was lower, creating the estuarine systems

Lagoon-type or bar-built, these estuaries are semi-isolated from ocean waters by barrier beaches (barrier islands and barrier spits). Formation of barrier beaches partially encloses the estuary with only narrow inlets allowing contact with the ocean waters.

Fjord type estuaries are formed in deeply eroded valleys formed by glaciers. These U-shaped estuaries typically have steep sides, rock bottoms, and underwater sills contoured by glacial movement.

Tectonically produced, these estuaries are formed by subsidence or land cut off from the ocean by land movement associated with faulting, volcanoes, and landslides.

Classification of Water Circulation:

Salt wedge, in this type of estuary, river output greatly exceeds marine input and tidal effects have a minor importance. Fresh water floats on top of the seawater in a layer that gradually thins as it moves seaward. The denser seawater moves landward along the bottom of the estuary, forming a wedge-shaped layer that is thinner as it approaches land. As a velocity difference develops between the two layers, shear forces generate internal waves at the interface, mixing the seawater upward with the freshwater.

Partially mixed, as tidal forcing increases, river output becomes less than the marine input. Here, current induced turbulence causes mixing of the whole water column such that salinity varies more longitudinally rather than vertically, leading to a moderately stratified condition.

Vertically homogenous, tidal mixing forces exceed river output, resulting in a well mixed water column and the disappearance of the vertical salinity gradient. The freshwater-seawater boundary is eliminated due to the intense turbulent mixing and eddy effects.

Inverse estuaries occur in dry climates where evaporation greatly exceeds the inflow of fresh water. A salinity maximum zone is formed, and both riverine and oceanic water flow close to the surface towards this zone.[6] This water is pushed downward and spreads along the bottom in both the seaward and landward direction.

Intermittent, estuary type varies dramatically depending on freshwater input, and is capable of changing from a wholly marine embayment to any of the other estuary types.

1)Define what type of Estuary in located in New York Harbor? Why? Examples of classification are: Drowned River Valleys, Lagoon Type or Bar-built, Fjord or Tectonically produced.

2) Classification of Water Circulation? Why?
Examples are: Salt wedge, Partially mixed, Vertically homogenous, Inverse, Intermittent

3) Is the location at high tide or low tide?

4) In your opinion is the water salt or fresh?

5) Optional: Post a picture of yourself and GPS with Hudson River in the background.

Additional Hints (No hints available.)

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Last Updated: on 4/14/2014 2:00:44 PM Pacific Daylight Time (9:00 PM GMT)
Rendered From:Unknown
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum