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Research: Water and Sediments

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Water and Sediment Processes

The environment contains key factors that interact and affect numerous processes, both organic and inorganic. Management of these intricate relationships is problematic. Scientific research improves understanding and aids in forming management strategies. This diagram illustrates the major environmental factors and some examples of the processes and management issues involved.

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The physical environment we study includes suspended sediments, physical processes such as water residence times and suspended sediment transport, and water quality issues such as low dissolved oxygen. Complex interactions occur among these processes and with biotic factors. For example, tidal flushing of water bodies is a physical process that influences dissolved oxygen (DO) levels. Excess nutrients (biochemical process) and algal growth (biologic process) also affect DO.  The resultant DO levels impact marine organisms. 

The spatial relationships of data often convey valuable insights into the analyses, so geographic information systems (GIS) are an important tool in many of these studies.

flow chart

Research Topics