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Understanding Sediment Movement during Extreme Flow Events

The Hudson River Foundation recently funded work by Dr. David Ralston of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, "Linking Sediment Transport in the Hudson from the Tidal River to the Estuary", to better understand sediment movement throughout the Harbor. In order to improve knowledge about how sediment travels through the Hudson River during peak-flow events, Dr. David Ralston and his colleagues at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute studied the 2.7 megaton pulse of new sediment that came in from the watershed with Tropical Storms Irene and Lee in 2011. Prior research suggested that storm-inputted sediment would pass quickly through the Hudson’s long tidal freshwater reach and settle in the estuary. However, Dr. Ralston’s team found that one month after the storm, only a fifth of the new sediment had reached saline waters.