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Management modeling of suspended solids in the Chesapeake Bay, USA

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The Chesapeake Bay, USA, suffers from multiple water quality impairments including poor water clarity. A management strategy aimed at improvingwater clarity through reduction of nutrient and solids loads to the bay is under development. The strategy is informed through the use of the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Modeling Package. We describe herein aspects of themodeldevotedto suspendedsolids, amajor contributor to poorwater clarity. Our approach incorporates a dynamic model of inorganic solids into an eutrophication model, in order to account for interactions between physical and biotic factors which influence suspended solids transport and fate. Solids budgets based on the model indicate that internal production of organic solids is the largest source of suspended solids to the mainstembay. Scenario analysis indicates that control of solids loads reduces solids concentration in the vicinity of the loading sources. Control of nutrient loads provides more widespread but lesser reductions in suspended solids.

This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

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