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Details for Benchmark: KU0977

N 40° 47.667 W 073° 46.867 (NAD 83)

Altitude: 7.5

Coordinates may not be exact. Altitude is ADJUSTED and location is SCALED. (more info)

Location:
In QUEENS county, NY View Original Datasheet
Designation:
851 6990 TIDAL 3
Marker Type:
bench mark disk
Setting:
retaining walls, concrete ledge, etc.
Stability:
May hold, but of type commonly subject to surface motion.

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Visited Fort Totten this week, and found two of the Tidal benchmarks, AH6731 and AH6732, neither of which is in this site's database, but for which NGS datasheets are available. Both marks are in good condition, though AH6731 is a bit worn as it's in a location where it will be subject to foot and vehicular traffic. As mentioned below, most of the benchmarks are in a location currently used by the NYC Police Department, or by the Coast Guard as part of the Dept. of Homeland Security. I asked permission to walk around the NYPD area, but felt that I was being watched carefully, and I left after a few minutes. I have included photos of the two benchmarks that I found, neither of which is this particular one.

To reach AH6732 (stamped 851 6990 A), enter through the main gate and go until there is a fork in the road. The mark is in a large square cement area at the apex of a triangle in that fork. AH6731 (stamped 851 6990 Tidal 5) is in the NYPD area, on the threshold of the service entrance to building 610.

I may return to Fort Totten to continue my search for the remaining benchmarks, as there was construction going on behind the visitor's center, and there was no access to any of the roads to the north point of the Fort's property.

[Photos:]
photo851 6990 A Disk
photo851 6990 Tidal 5 Disk

[b]Willets Point Tidal Station, Station ID: 851 6990[/b]

This bench mark and the other bench marks at Fort Totten are [b]Tidal Bench Marks[/b]. They are associated with the Willets Point Tidal Station.

Tidal stations serve to monitor local tides and water levels. These stations consist of a tide guage (which may or may not be currently active) and a number of tidal bench marks near the tide guage. The bench marks at this station were established as early as 1907 (KU0979 and KU0976) and as recently as 1982 (AG6732), but the majority were established in the 1930s.

This station is the [b]Primary Bench Mark[/b] for this tidal station and so I have put this note and the additional
photos here.

There are altogether 10 tidal bench marks at this location. All 10 are NGS stations and all but one are in good condition. Two are not on GC (AH6731 and AH6732) since they are relatively recent additions to the NGS system. The tidal database is separated into data from specific periods of time (called epochs) over which the tidal data was collected, often for many years at a time. At this station, some of the benchmarks are not used in the current epoch. The stations and the corresponding data sheets from CO-OPS are as folows:

[b]Bench Marks - Current Epoch (1980-2001)[/b]

[url=http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/benchmarks/8516990.html?]Tidal Station 851 6990 data sheets (1980-2001 epoch)[/url]

The data sheets include the following bench marks:

KU0977 "851 6990 TIDAL 3" (Primary Bench Mark)
AH6731 "851 6990 TIDAL 5" (Good condition)
AH6732 "851 6990 A TIDAL" (Good condition)
[url=http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?Pid=KU0978]KU0978[/url] "851 6990 TIDAL 4" (Good condition)
[url=http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?Pid=KU0979]KU0979[/url] "851 6990 TIDAL 735" (Good condition)
[url=http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?Pid=KU0976]KU0976[/url] "TIDAL 736 STA II 6" (Good condition)

[b]Bench Marks - 1960-1978 Epoch[/b]

[url=http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/data_menu.shtml?stn=8516990%20Willets%20Point,%20NY&type=Superseded%20Bench%20Mark]Tidal Station 851 6990 data sheets (1960-1978 epoch)[/url]

The data sheets include the the above bench marks plus two which were superseded:

[url=http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?Pid=KU0980]KU0980[/url] "TIDAL 1 STA II 6" (Good condition)
[url=http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?Pid=KU0983]KU0983[/url] "TIDAL 56 USE STA II 6" (Poor condition)

[b]Bench Marks - Earlier data[/b]

These two were used in an earlier epochs and are no longer published on the NOAA site:

[url=http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?Pid=KU0981]KU0981[/url] "3 USE" (Good condition)
[url=http://www.geocaching.com/mark/details.aspx?Pid=KU0982]KU0982[/url] "TIDAL 737 STA II 6" (Good condition)

Directions and descriptions of individual marks are found on the corresponding GC pages (except AH6731 and 6732 which are in the NGS system but not on GC).. An area map and several photos of the area showing the general "look and feel" of the place is provided in this log. The area is in the process of becomming a NY City park. However, most of the bench marks are in the old Coast Guard area which the NY Police Department is currently using. Although I had no access problems, hopefully all areas will be open to the public without restrictions in the future.

Fort Totten is a little known gem in Queens NY. I highly recommend a visit.

[Photos:]
photoFort Totten Tidal Station Map, Queens NY
This is derived from the map on the sign as you enter the park. All 10 tidal benchmarks are shown.
photoFort Totten Tidal Station locale, Queens NY
This shows building # 615 from across the bay taken from just outside the gate. This building is centrally located among the bench marks. The tidal gauge (not currently active) was on the dock (recently rebuilt) in the foreground.
photoFort Totten Tidal Station locale, Queens NY
This shows the bulkhead (sea wall) north of building # 615. Overgrown shrubs (including poison ivy), lots of dirt and roots on the bulkhead and multiple fences makes recovering bench marks from the land side "challenging".

Last week I found 4 of 10 tidal bench marks at Fort Totten, Queens NY, and today I went back and found 2 of the remaining 6. I may or may not come back for the rest.

I was snooping around for some of the other bench marks and as I gave up on them and started over towards the dock, (where I knew this one was supposed to be located), I met a robust looking fellow. Since I had my clip board, I asked directions to the dock (though I well knew where it was). Since I was in a restricted zone with about a zillion signs, this was a distraction of sorts. He said right down there. And so I said I didn't want to bother the cops going over there since I saw all the signs. He said nah, don't worry you're fine. Turns out he was with the police, so that was a pretty good encounter. I guess I just looked like I was doing what I was supposed to be doing.

The pier is now concrete and appears to have been rebuilt recently, and moreover, the road leading up to it looks like it was just repaved. This was a bit disconcerting, since the mark was set on the edge of the concrete section of the dock, just ashore. But not to worry. They had left the old concrete just at this one spot. There was a chain link fence along the two sides and the mark was outside the fence and behind a heavy wooden timber on the right (north) side, just as described.

It was also clear from the fact there was a gangway slanting up to the dock proper, that this new dock is a couple of feet higher than the old dock.

I managed to get some pictures through the fence and you can just make out the stamping "NO 3 1944" as described.

[This entry was edited by Papa-Bear-NYC on Thursday, May 18, 2006 at 1:52:26 PM.]

[Photos:]
photoKU0977 851 6990 TIDAL 3, Fort Totten,Queens NY
View of the dock from the right (north) side just ashore. The old concrete is evident as well as the new concrete gangway leading up to the dock. The mark was on the far edge, outside the fence. The Throgs Neck Bridge is in the background.
photoKU0977 851 6990 TIDAL 3, Fort Totten,Queens NY
The mark on the far edge behind the woden timber as seen through the fence.
photoKU0977 851 6990 TIDAL 3, Fort Totten,Queens NY
Closeup of mark (rotated). The stamping is just readable. "NO 3" is above the circle and "1944" is below the circle.
photoKU0977 851 6990 TIDAL 3, Fort Totten,Queens NY
Another closeup. It is the same as the previous piucture but with notation added to show where the stamping is located.

Documented History (by the NGS)

01/01/1944 by CGS (MONUMENTED)
01/01/1952 by NGS (GOOD)
DESCRIBED BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1952 AT NEW YORK. AT NEW YORK, IN BOROUGH OF QUEENS, AT WEST SIDE OF FORT TOTTEN, NEAR THE LAND END OF QUARTERMASTER DOCK, 18 FEET WEST OF SEA WALL, 5 FEET EAST OF WEST END OF CONCRETE PART OF DOCK, 0.7 FOOT SOUTH OF NORTH EDGE OF CONCRETE PART OF DOCK AND SET IN THE TOP OF NORTH RETAINING WALL OF LAND END OF DOCK.
11/01/1995 by NOS (GOOD)
RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL OCEAN SERVICE 1995 (KLD) THE BENCH MARK IS SET IN THE RETAINING WALL NEAR THE SHORE END OF THE US COAST GUARD PIER AND WILLETS DRIVE AT FORT TOTTEN, ABOUT 5 M (16.4 FT) WNW OF THE SEA WALL, 2 M (6.6 FT) EAST OF THE WEST END OF THE CONCRETE PART OF THE PIER, AND 0.2 M (0.7 FT) SOUTH OF THE NORTH EDGE OF THE CONCRETE PART OF THE DOCK.

Control Text

  • The horizontal coordinates were scaled from a topographic map and have an estimated accuracy of +/- 6 seconds.
  • The orthometric height was determined by differential leveling and adjusted by the National Geodetic Survey in June 1991.
  • This Tidal Bench Mark is designated as VM 300 by the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services.
  • The geoid height was determined by GEOID99.
  • The dynamic height is computed by dividing the NAVD 88 geopotential number by the normal gravity value computed on the Geodetic Reference System of 1980 (GRS 80) ellipsoid at 45 degrees latitude (g = 980.6199 gals.).
  • The modeled gravity was interpolated from observed gravity values.

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