Estuarine Salinity Zones in US East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and US West Coast from 1999-01-01 to 1999-12-31 (NCEI Accession 0127396)

Metadata Updated: February 26, 2021

These unprojected (geographic coordinates) 3-Zone Average Annual Salinity Digital Geographies are based on analysis of long-term salinity data for 147 estuaries of the contiguous United States. Each estuary is subdivided into three zones between the head(s) of tide, and the seaward boundaries based on annual-averaged and depth-averaged salinities. The salinities used to define the three zones are: (1) Tidal Fresh Zone (0 to 0.5 parts per thousand); (2) Mixing Zone (0.5 to 25 parts per thousand); (3) Seawater Zone (25 parts per thousand or greater).

This 3-zone scheme is considered static rather than dynamic, because it does not take into account the seasonal variations in salinity patterns and stratification that occur in most estuaries. Nonetheless, it provides a simple and readily understandable way to depict the long-term salinity characteristics of U.S. estuarine waters. Note that not all estuaries contain all three zones - for example, Baffin Bay, Texas, receives relatively little annual freshwater inflow, and is considered to be entirely Seawater Zone. This 3-zone scheme was originally presented in the National Estuarine Inventory (NEI) Data Atlas, Vol. I (NOAA/NOS 1985) for 92 estuaries of the contiguous United States. In the 1990s, digital geographies were refined and many estuaries were added to become a key layer within the Coastal Assessment Framework (NOAA 2007).

These 3-Zone Average Annual Salinity Digital Geography have been used for applications in natural resource science and management. They provided the spatial framework and basis for development of NOAA's Estuarine Living Marine Resources (ELMR) Program (Nelson and Monaco 2000), and also for NOAA's National Estuarine Eutrophication Assessment (Bricker et al. 2007).

Access & Use Information

License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Dates

Metadata Date 2020-06-15T05:47:55Z
Metadata Created Date December 4, 2020
Metadata Updated Date February 26, 2021
Reference Date(s) April 22, 2015 (publication)
Frequency Of Update asNeeded

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Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date 2020-06-15T05:47:55Z
Metadata Created Date December 4, 2020
Metadata Updated Date February 26, 2021
Reference Date(s) April 22, 2015 (publication)
Responsible Party (Point of Contact)
Contact Email
Guid gov.noaa.nodc:0127396
Access Constraints Cite as: Nelson, David Moe; National Ocean Service (2015). Estuarine Salinity Zones in US East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, and US West Coast from 1999-01-01 to 1999-12-31 (NCEI Accession 0127396). [indicate subset used]. NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information. Dataset. https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/archive/accession/0127396. Accessed [date]., Use liability: NOAA and NCEI cannot provide any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of furnished data. Users assume responsibility to determine the usability of these data. The user is responsible for the results of any application of this data for other than its intended purpose.
Bbox East Long -66.9
Bbox North Lat 48.5
Bbox South Lat 24.8
Bbox West Long -124.5
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update asNeeded
Graphic Preview Description Preview graphic
Graphic Preview File https://www.ncei.noaa.gov/access/metadata/landing-page/bin/gfx?id=gov.noaa.nodc:0127396
Graphic Preview Type PNG
Licence accessLevel: Public
Metadata Language eng
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": [[[-124.5, 24.8], [-66.9, 24.8], [-66.9, 48.5], [-124.5, 48.5], [-124.5, 24.8]]]}
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True
Temporal Extent Begin 1999-01-01
Temporal Extent End 1999-12-31

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