Seismic and Geochemical Research in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

Seismic and Geochemical Research in Chesapeake Bay, Maryland

Author(s): Robert Cuthbertson, Jeff Halka, James Hill

Published Online: 15 MAR 2013

Print ISBN: 9780875905693

Online ISBN: 9781118669839

DOI: 10.1029/FT231

About this Book

Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Field Trip Guidebooks Series, Volume 231.

The Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States, is located in the densely populated 'megalopolis' which extends from the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. northward to Boston, Massachusetts and southward to Richmond, Virginia (Figure 1). Some 13 million people reside within its watershed, a number which is projected to increase to nearly 16 million by the year 2000. As is the case with most estuaries the Bay has served a variety of functions related to man's needs since European occupation of the continent began nearly 4 centuries ago. Ample supplies of both shellfish and finfish are harvested from its waters with an annual commercial value exceeding $100 million. The Bay ranks third in the United States in overall fisheries catch surpassed only by U.S. landings from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It also serves as a significant commercial waterway with major ports located near the mouth at the Hampton Roads Complex, in Virginia, and in Maryland at the Port of Baltimore. More than 50,000 commercial vessel trips are recorded annually from these major and other minor ports in the Bay. Besides the commercial aspect, the Bay is becoming an increasingly important recreation area. Maryland alone has more than 125,000 pleasure boats registered.

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