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Title The Effects of Climate Signals on Freshwater Delivery to Coastal Georgia, U.S.A.
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Freshwater delivery is an important factor determining salinity in the LTER Georgia Coastal Ecosystem (GCE) site. Variability in freshwater delivery was examined in relation to various climate indices: the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Bermuda High Index (BHI). Monthly standardized anomalies of river discharge and climate indices were compared with multi-decadal time series of Altamaha watershed precipitation at 7-13 stations using empirical orthogonal function (EOF) analysis to describe the precipitation patterns. The first EOF mode (65% of the variance) was spatially uniform with temporal variability at the monthly scale. The second mode (11% of the variance) showed a spatial gradient along the long axis of the watershed (NW-SE) whereas the third mode (6% of the variance) showed an onshore-offshore pattern with higher variability during June-September. There were no consistent relationships between NAO and precipitation. The SOI shows correlations with discharge and weak correlations with modes 1 and 2 of the precipitation. The BHI is correlated with May-January discharge with a 0-1 month lag, and is also strongly correlated with EOF mode 1 of precipitation. The occurrence of tropical storms in theregion is also strongly related to the BHI, but not the SOI.

Contributors Joan E. Sheldon and Adrian B. Burd

Sheldon, J.E. and Burd, A.B. 2009. Poster: The Effects of Climate Signals on Freshwater Delivery to Coastal Georgia, U.S.A. 2009 LTER All Scientists Meeting, Sept. 14-16, 2009, Estes Park, CO.

Key Words Bermuda High, climate, ENSO, EOF analysis, freshwater, North Atlantic Oscillation, precipitation, river discharge, Southern Oscillation, streamflow, tropical storms
File Date 2009
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959, OCE-1237140 and OCE-1832178. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.