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Charleston on the Atlantic Coast of the USA

32.7N 79.9W

April 28th, 2010 Category: Rivers, Sediments

USA - April 4th, 2010

USA - April 4th, 2010

Charleston is a city in Charleston County, in the U.S. state of South Carolina.The city of Charleston is located just south of the mid-point of South Carolina’s coastline, at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers (visible here by the shoreline near the right edge).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 347.5 square kilometers (134.2 sq mi). 251.2 km2 (97.0 sq mi) of it is land and 44.3 km2 (17.1 sq mi) (15%) of it is water. The old city is located on a peninsula at the point where, as Charlestonians say, “The Ashley and the Cooper Rivers come together to form the Atlantic Ocean.”

The entire peninsula is very low, some of it is landfill material, and as such, it frequently floods during heavy rains, storm surges and unusually high tides. The tidal rivers (Wando, Cooper, Stono, and Ashley) are evidence of a submergent or drowned coastline. In other words, the original rivers had a lower base line, but as the ocean rose or the land sank, the landform was changed. There is a submerged river delta off the mouth of the harbor, and the rivers are deep, affording a good location for a port.

Lakes Marion and Moultrie, South Carolina, USA

33.4N 80.1W

January 8th, 2010 Category: Lakes

USA - January 2nd, 2010

USA - January 2nd, 2010

While sediments frame much of the coastline of North Carolina (above) and South Carolina (below), they are also present in two of the latter’s lakes: Lake Marion, appearing dark tan, and Lake Moultrie, more rounded and situated just between the former and the coast.

Lake Marion is the largest lake in South Carolina, with a 315-mile (507 km) shoreline and covering nearly 110,000 acres (450 square kilometers or 173.7 square miles) of rolling farmlands, former marshes, and river valley landscape.

It was created to supply hydroelectric power as part of the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric and Navigation Project. The lake is fed by many tributaries, including Wyboo Creek and the Santee River, and also by numerous springs, including Eutaw Springs.

Conditions in the lake vary from shallow swamps and blackwater ponds to vast open water with a multitude of underwater structures. Lake Marion was not completely cleared when it was created. As a result, there are thousands of stumps, standing dead tree trunks and live cypress trees.

Lake Moultrie is the third largest lake in South Carolina, covering over 60,000 acres (240 km2). It is fed by Lake Marion through a diversion canal. Lake Moultrie was created in the early 1940s by the South Carolina Public Service Authority. Its effluent is the Cooper River, and it is dammed by the Pinopolis Dam. The lake offers a varied fishing environment. There are shallow swamps, black water ponds, thousands of tree stumps and live cypress trees, as well as large open areas of water. This lake does not form ice in winter months.

Bodies of Water Along the East Coast of the USA, from New Jersey to South Carolina

35.3N 75.8W

October 27th, 2009 Category: Rivers

USA - September 29th, 2009

USA - September 29th, 2009

Sediments spill from several rivers along the east coast of the United States, from southern New Jersey (top) down to South Carolina (bottom). These are particularly concentrated around the Charleston Harbor in South Carolina (bottom edge), fed by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, by the mouths of the Cape Fear and the New Rivers in North Carolina,  and in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina (center).

Just north of the greenish Pamlico Sound is Albemarle Sound, lined with dark brown sediments. The sound is actually a large estuary on the coast of North Carolina located at the confluence of a group of rivers, including the Chowan and the Roanoke.

To the north of the Albermarle Sound, the Chesapeake Bay appears relatively free of sediments. The Potomac River flows into this bay on the shores of the state of Maryland.

Finally, continuing northward, the shores of the Delaware Bay, a major estuary outlet of the Delaware River separating the states of Delaware and New Jersey, are lined with brown sediments.

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