Science Support

Frequently asked questions regarding USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2012-5185

This report shows that there is an important transition that is underway in terms of how the Susquehanna River delivers nutrients and sediments to the Bay.  The Lower Susquehanna River reservoirs previously trapped a great deal of sediment, and with it they trapped large amounts of phosphorus and nitrogen that are attached to the sediment particles.  The ability of these reservoirs to trap sediment now appears to be decreasing and the tendency for the sediments in these reservoirs to be scoured (and carried into the Bay) during high flow events appears to be increasing.  It has been known for many years that this transition would take place, although the timing was uncertain.  What is new is that we can now document, based on data from Tropical Storm Lee, that the change is well underway as the reservoirs approach their sediment storage capacity. 


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