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Browse History: Overview (2015)

Lower than average flow and loads for early 2015

Nutrient loading related to river flow
The Susquehanna River is the single largest source of nitrogen and phosphorus discharging into Chesapeake Bay, and these nutrients drive the dissolved oxygen conditions in the mainstem. The amount of nutrients coming from the Susquehanna River is directly related to the amount of stream flow.

Flow from the Susquehanna River in 2015 was lower than average. There was very low flow in every month except April. This means there were less nutrients flowing into the Bay during these months in 2014. Then, there were one long period of high flow in late March and April. These high flow events provided nutrients to the Bay that fuel algal blooms, and lead to low dissolved oxygen conditions. 

2015 Susquehanna River flow

Susquehanna River daily mean flow rates for January through mid-June 2015. Flow data supplied by USGS.

The forecasts do not account for unseasonable June and July conditions, but represent the best available prediction based on past and present conditions.

Nitrogen load from the Susquehanna River to the Bay
Nitrogen loads from the Susquehanna River were below average for January through May, however, there was a large amount of nutrients entering the Bay during the high flow events in late March and in April (see graph below). The nitrogen loads are provided by the USGS and are used to forecast anoxia and hypoxia in the Bay.