The limit of ESTUARY is the extent of the area where fresh and salt water mix, as defined by the NOAA Coastal Assessment Framework (CAF). It includes the salinity zones identified by NOAA as the Seawater Zone and the Mixing Zone. The limit is the approximate line of Mean High Water.
If ESTUARY has been identified as an estuarine area by the NOAA CAF and has been identified as either Seawater Zone or Mixing Zone in the salinity data,
Source Interpretation Guidelines
Estuaries identified as Tidal Fresh in the NOAA Salinity Data are captured as STREAM/RIVER. If ESTUARY is more like “a semi-enclosed coastal body of water” and if the generic part of the name in the NOAA Coastal Assessment Framework (CAF) is “bay”, “sound” or something similar, the ESTUARY may be treated more like SEA/OCEAN for modeling purposes. The feature COASTLINE would be used to delineate the edge of the ESTUARY (based on Mean High Water). The COASTLINE would have flow direction and would be part of the network.
If the estuary is more like the “lower end of a river” and if the generic part of the name in the NOAA CAF is “river”, the estuary may be treated more like STREAM/RIVER for modeling purposes. The feature COASTLINE is used to close off the ESTUARY from SEA/OCEAN. The delineation of the ESTUARY is based on Mean High Water, although the feature COASTLINE would not be collected around the ESTUARY.
ARTIFICIAL PATHS may be added within the ESTUARY to allow flow to be modeled through the ESTUARY and to a point where the ESTUARY meets the SEA/OCEAN.
If COASTLINE is used around ESTUARY that contains ARTIFICIAL PATHS, those COASTLINES would not have flow direction and would not be part of the network.
Areas within ESTUARY that are below mean high water may be captured as SWAMP/MARSH. If SWAMP/MARSH is captured, ESTUARY is not captured. COASTLINE is not captured around the SWAMP/MARSH.
See FORESHORE for information on the area between mean high water and mean lower low water.
Revision – General
The NOAA CAF delineations provide the list of estuaries to be captured and the general extent of the feature. Local data may be used to provide the final delineation of ESTUARY.
Revision – Standard
Revision - Limited
About Feature Templates