A model of the salt balance in the Chesapeake Bay is discussed, which takes into account only time-dependent riverine input and mean ocean-bay exchange. Estimates of (spatial) mean bay salinity are made using two different data sources: a 16 year record of surveys taken by the Environmental Protection Agency's Chesapeake Bay Program, and a 10 year record of hydrographic sections taken in the lower bay by the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography at Old Dominion University. Using United States Geological Survey river flow data to force the model, both data sets are consistent with this simple model and both imply a mean oceanic exchange (e-folding) timescale of 90 days, which is equivalent to an effective exchange rate of roughly 8 × 103 m3 s-1.
- Estuarine exchange
- Long-term observations