Water Quality & Weather


Each reserve maintains at least one meteorological station to quantify atmospheric conditions. Core elements currently measured at all reserves include air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, wind direction, rainfall, and photosynthetically active radiation. 

Water Quality and Water Chemistry 

Each reserve deploys at least four Xylem Yellow Springs Instrument Co. (YSI) XO2 sondes for continuous monitoring of water quality parameters. Data are collected for four seconds at fifteen-minute intervals, where possible. Datasondes placement is designed to characterize gradients in environmental conditions. 

Core elements include water temperature, specific conductivity, percent saturation of dissolved oxygen, pressure, pH, and turbidity. Calculated values include salinity, concentration of dissolved oxygen, and pressure corrected water depth. Chlorophyl a and high-resolution pH are also measured. 

SWMP also includes monthly analyses to quantify nutrient and chlorophyll a concentration at the same water quality monitoring stations where datasondes are located, if possible. Discrete samples are collected once monthly at specified tidal conditions at the four designated long-term monitoring stations. More intensive diel (24-hour) sampling is conducted at one water quality monitoring station each month to better understand impacts of tide and irradiance on nutrient cycling. Core elements currently measured at all reserves include nitrate, nitrite, ammonium, orthophosphate, and chlorophyll a. 


North Carolina SWMP data is available from the NERRS Centralized Data Management Office