SMS 491: Estuarine Oceanography

Syllabus- May term 2011

Instructors: Larry Mayer and Emmanuel Boss

Contact info: LM – Darling Center ext. 237, email

EB – 356-9147, email

Course goals:

Student responsibilities: attend and participate in classes, read assigned reading material, submit assignments.

Assessment: quizzes (final) (25%), Homeworks (25%), project (presentation, writeup, particip. – 50%)

Reading:  Reading material will be provided as needed posted on this web site and on the reserve shelf in the library.

Meals: 7:30/12/5:30

H1N1: In the event of disruption of normal classroom activities due to an H1N1 swine flu outbreak, the format for this course may be modified to enable completion of the course.  In that event, you will be provided an addendum to this syllabus that will supersede this version.

If you have a disability for which you may be requesting an accommodation, please contact either me or Ann Smith, Coordinator of Services for Students with Disabilities (Onward Building, 581-2319), as early as possible in the term.

Syllabus, subject to change, (last updated 05/27/2011):

Picture from different 2011 class activities can be found at:




            AM                        PM

Assignment/ additional material



May 12


0830-0945h  Introduction: people, Syllabus.

 Morphology Lecture [PDF]


1045-1200h  Lecture (Hydrodynamics) [PDF]


1200-1300h  lunch


1300-1330h  ODV:

Use tutorial (PDF) to

install ODV (, load CTD data already in an easy format (data_text_file) and explore data.


1330-1430h  Carter Newell presentation and concept mapping (PDF)


1430-1700h  CTD/sensor arrays and Secchi disk off boat

Project, teams, instrumentation

Readings and web resources

For Morphology: Day et al. (1989), Chap. 2

See all the world rivers at:

For Hydrology: Day et al. (1989), Chap. 2

Estuary classification:

Animation of lateral circulation cells at:  the flow at various stages of ebb and flood and look at lateral flow.

Homework 1(PDF)

Data for homework (text_file_st1, text_file_st2, text_file_st3, text_file_st4, Excel logfile)


May 14


Stuff in the water, project design (PDF)


NOAA chart of Kennebec, Sheepscot and  Damariscotta estuaries:




May 17


Primary production[PDF]

Team project development



May 18



secondary production [PDF]

Project work, load up vessel




May 19


Damariscotta  cruise


Cruise picture


Cruise log [Word]

Files from SBE 19+: cast0, cast1, cast2, cast3, cast4, cast5, cast6, cast7, cast8

All data, ready to be uploaded to ODV.

Readme file describing how to interpret the data in the '.cnv' files [PDF]


May 20


  Quick visit to Mayer lab to see nutrient analysis, lunch or middle afternoon  



May 23


Kennebec cruise cruise log [Word]

Files form SBE 19+:cast0, cast1, cast2, cast3, cast4, cast5.

All data ready to be uploaded to ODV.

Readme file describing how to interpret the data in the '.cnv' files [PDF]


May 25


Sediments [PDF], modeling

Complete projects



May 27



Coring cruise Synthesis,, presentations, final  






Links to relevant resources



ODV:  -- Software to visualize oceanographic data.

Relevant courses on the WWW:

Estuarine processes class (University of Washington):

Other useful resources on the WWW:

Mayer & Boss, 2011
This page was last edited on 05/27/2011