The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the National Park Service, collected data in Northeast Creek estuary, Mt. Desert Island, Maine, to establish baseline water-quality conditions including estuarine nutrient concentrations. Five sampling sites in Northeast Creek were established and monitored continuously for temperature and specific conductance during May to November, 2000 and 2001. Stream stage, which was affected by ocean tidal dynamics, was recorded at the most downstream site and at one upstream site. Discrete water samples for nutrient concentrations were collected biweekly during May to November, 2000 and 2001, at the five sampling sites, and an additional site seaward of the estuary mouth. Results indicated that the salinity regime of Northeast Creek estuary is dynamic and highly regulated by strong seasonal variations in freshwater runoff, as well as limited seawater exchange caused by a constriction at the bridge, at the downstream end of the estuary. Oligohaline conditions (0.5-5 practical salinity units) occasionally extend to the estuary mouth. During other periods oligohaline and mesohaline (5-20 practical salinity units) conditions exist in some areas of the estuary; polyhaline/marine (20-35 practical salinity units) conditions occasionally exist near the mouth. A saltwater wedge in the bottom water, due to density stratification, was observed to migrate upstream as fresh surface-water inputs diminished during the onset of summer low-flow conditions. Although specific conductance ranged widely at most sites because of tidal influences, other water-quality constituents, including nutrient and chlorophyll-a concentrations, exhibited seasonal distribution patterns in which maximum levels generally occurred in early to mid-summer and again in the fall over both field seasons.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Hydrologic Data Summary for the Northeast Creek/Fresh Meadow Estuary, Acadia National Park, Maine, 2000-2001