This data report presents long-term oceanographic observations made in western Massachusetts Bay at two locations: (1) 42 deg 22.6' N., 70 deg 47.0' W. (Site A, 33 m water depth) from December 1989 through December 2002 (figure 1), and (2) 42 deg 9.8' N., 70 deg 38.4' W. (Site B, 21 m water depth) from October 1997 through December 2002. Site A is approximately 1 km south of the new ocean outfall that began discharging treated sewage effluent from the Boston metropolitan area into Massachusetts Bay on September 6, 2000. These long-term oceanographic observations have been collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in partnership with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) and with logistical support from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG - http://www.uscg.mil). This report presents time series data through December 2002, updating a similar report that presented data through December 2000 (Butman and others, 2002). In addition, the Statistics and Mean Flow sections include some new plots and tables and the format of the report has been streamlined by combining yearly figures into single .pdfs.
Figure 1 (PDF format)
The long-term measurements are planned to continue at least through 2005. The long-term oceanographic observations at Sites A and B are part of a USGS study designed to understand the transport and long-term fate of sediments and associated contaminants in the Massachusetts bays. (See http://woodshole.er.usgs.gov/project-pages/bostonharbor/ and Butman and Bothner, 1997.) The long-term observations document seasonal and inter-annual changes in currents, hydrography, and suspended-matter concentration in western Massachusetts Bay, and the importance of infrequent catastrophic events, such as major storms or hurricanes, in sediment resuspension and transport. They also provide observations for testing numerical models of circulation.
This data report presents a description of the field program and instrumentation, an overview of the data through summary plots and statistics, and the data in NetCDF and ASCII format for the period December 1989 through December 2002 for Site A and October 1997 through December 2002 for Site B. The objective of this report is to make the data available in digital form and to provide summary plots and statistics to facilitate browsing of the long-term data set.