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The effects of channel deepening on the salinity and density flow in the James River estuary, Virginia, were studied to predict changes that might affect oyster production. A hydraulic model with 1:1,000 horizontal and 1:100 vertical scales was employed to integrate three-dimensional changes in salinity and velocity through reaches of variable bottom geometry. After natural characteristics of the tide, current, and salinity were reproduced in the model, tests were run at three levels of steady river inflow, before and after a 3-meter channel deepening. Results were combined with corollary field observations to evaluate changes in present-day ecological conditions.

Deepening produced...

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