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Impact of urbanization on high-salinity estuaries in the southeastern United States
Vernberg, F.J.; Vernberg, W.B.; Blood, E.; Fortner, A.; Fulton, M.; McKellar, H.; Michener, W.; Scott, G.; Siewicki, T.; El Figi, K. (1992). Impact of urbanization on high-salinity estuaries in the southeastern United States. Neth. J. Sea Res. 30: 239-248.
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579; e-ISSN 1873-1406, more
Also appears in:
Heip, C.H.R.; Nienhuis, P.H.; Pollen-Lindeboom, P.R. (Ed.) (1992). Proceedings of the 26th European Marine Biology Symposium: Biological Effects of Disturbances on Estuarine and Coastal Marine Environments, 17-21 September 1991, Yerseke, The Netherlands. Netherlands Journal of Sea Research, 30. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Texel. 299 pp., more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 


Authors  Top 
  • Vernberg, F.J.
  • Vernberg, W.B.
  • Blood, E.
  • Fortner, A.
  • Fulton, M.
  • McKellar, H.
  • Michener, W.
  • Scott, G.
  • Siewicki, T.
  • El Figi, K.

    To assess the impact of urbanization on small high-salinity estuaries, studies were initiated which had a broad temporal and spatial base. These studies utilize a geographic information system and a global positioning system technology, as well as new data collection and analytical techniques to characterize the relationship between land-use patterns, nutrient loading, water quality, chemical contaminants, bacteriology, toxicology, hydrodynamics, and primary and secondary production. Thirty monitoring stations at both an urbanized estuary (Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, U.S.A.) and a nearby, similar-sized, relatively pristine estuary (North Inlet, SC) were established. Results indicate the following trends. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) levels in seawater and oyster tissue were higher in Murrells Inlet, and the specific PAHs found in higher concentrations in seawater are similar to the PAH composition in urban air. Copper concentrations were higher in Murrells Inlet with the highest concentrations found in oysters located near human habitation. Although total coliform levels in surface waters at both estuaries were not different, faecal coliform levels in Murrells Inlet were generally higher, particularly in oysters. Nitrate and phosphate concentrations were higher in water from Murrells Inlet but, in contrast, ammonium concentrations when significantly different were higher at North Inlet landward stations. The variability in dissolved oxygen was much greater in North Inlet and may be due to the greater marsh/creek drainage in North Inlet. Chlorophyll a values tended to be higher and more variable for North Inlet water samples but no significant differences were observed between the two estuaries during the peak of the growing season. Lower biomass was observed in Murrells Inlet when similar creeks from the two estuaries were sampled by seines.

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