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Water quality measurements in San Francisco Bay by the U.S. Geological Survey, 1969–2015

August 11, 2017

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) maintains a place-based research program in San Francisco Bay (USA) that began in 1969 and continues, providing one of the longest records of water-quality measurements in a North American estuary. Constituents include salinity, temperature, light extinction coefficient, and concentrations of chlorophyll-a, dissolved oxygen, suspended particulate matter, nitrate, nitrite, ammonium, silicate, and phosphate. We describe the sampling program, analytical methods, structure of the data record, and how to access all measurements made from 1969 through 2015. We provide a summary of how these data have been used by USGS and other researchers to deepen understanding of how estuaries are structured and function differently from the river and ocean ecosystems they bridge.