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Summary of Findings About Circulation and the Estuarine Turbidity Maximum in Suisun Bay, California
United States Geological Survey
David H. Schoellhamer and Jon R. Burau
Suisun Bay location map
Figure 1: Location of study
area, Suisun Bay.
Click for a larger version (47 KB)
Suisun Bay, California, is the most landward subembayment of San Francisco Bay (fig. 1) and is an important ecological habitat (Cloern and others, 1983; Jassby and others, 1995). During the 1960s and 1970s, data collected in Suisun Bay were analyzed to develop a conceptual model of how water, salt, and sediment move within and through the Bay. This conceptual model has been used to manage freshwater flows from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to Suisun Bay to improve habitat for several threatened and endangered fish species. Instrumentation used to measure water velocity, salinity, and suspended-solids concentration (SSC) greatly improved during the 1980s and 1990s. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has utilized these new instruments to collect one of the largest, high-quality hydrodynamic and sediment data sets available for any estuary. Analysis of these new data has led to the revision of the conceptual model of circulation and sediment transport in Suisun Bay.

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