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The lower bay complex of the new york harbor usa


, : The lower bay complex of the new york harbor usa. Mesa (Marine Ecosystems Analysis) New York Bight Atlas Monograph O(29): 1-47

The lower Bay complex is the seaward part of New York Harbor and includes Raritan, Sandy Hook and Lower bays. It connects with Upper Bay through a narrow constriction between Staten Island and Brooklyn. The bay complex is relatively shallow (5-20 m or 16-66 ft) but has an irregular topography due mainly to the numerous ship channels in Lower and Raritan bays. The weather in the bay complex is typical of a midlatitude coastal region, with the adjacent Atlantic Ocean acting as a buffer. The bay complex is a dynamic and complex estuarine system and receives a large, seasonally variable inflow of fresh water originating mainly from the Hudson River with lesser amounts from the Raritan and Passaic rivers. Sewage effluent is also a significant source of fresh water. The nontidal inflow of salt water through the Sandy Hook-Rockaway Point transect is confined to Ambrose and Sandy Hook channels and through the entire water column near Rockaway Point. Because of the variable inflow of fresh water, the distribution of water properties (salinity, nutrients and chlorophyll a) varies seasonally. Tides and tidal currents in the bay complex are semidiurnal; their patterns are complicated because of the shape of the bay, the variation in freshwater discharge, Coriolis acceleration and the intricate connection of waterways. Tidal variations in water properties are large and can be perturbed significantly by storms. Sewage effluent from the New York metropolitan area is the principal source for the high concentrations of nutrients observed in the bay complex. A large fraction of these nutrients are consumed in biological processes occurring within the bay complex. There is a net transport of nutrients and chlorophyll a to the apex of New York Bight. The nutrients orginating from the bay complex and transported seaward may be an important factor leading to the decline of O2 in bottom waters of the Bight during summer periods.

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