Plum Island Ecosystems LTER Database

Acceptance and utilization of LTER data requires that:

(1) The Principal Investigator be sent a notice stating reasons for acquiring any data and a description of the publication intentions.
(2) The Principal Investigator of the data set be sent a copy of the report or manuscript prior to submission and be adequately cited in any resultant publications.
(3) A copy of any resultant publications should be sent to:

Principal Investigator
Ecosystems Center
Marine Biological Laboratory
7 MBL St.
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Dataset URLs:METADATA: HTML, Rich Text, XML(EML compliant)
DATA: Comma Delimited, Excel file with Metadata and data
Dataset ID:LTE-TIDE-Geomorphology.03
Dataset Title:Creek morphology in Rowley River tidal creeks associated with long term fertilization experiments, Rowley and Ipswich, MA.
Investigator 1: 
First Name:Linda
Last Name:Deegan
Address line 1:The Ecosystems Center
Address line 2:Marine Biological Laboratory
Address line 3:7 MBL St.
City:Woods Hole
Zip Code:02543
Investigator 2: 
First Name:R. Scott
Last Name:Warren
Address line 1:Connecticut College
Address line 2:Department of Botany
Address line 3:270 Mohegan Ave.
City:New London
Zip Code:06320
Associate Investigators:David Johson, Erik Yando, Chris Haight
Keywords:PIE LTER, TIDE, nutrients, disturbance, geomorphology, creek fractures, salt marsh, Spartina, fertilization
Abstract:The length and number of creek fractures in the high marsh turf near the low marsh/high marsh border were measured in Rowley River tidal creeks associated with long term fertilization experiments, Rowley and Ipswich, MA. The TIDE project aims to simulate eutrophication on a large scale by the addition of NO3- aiming to reach 70µM concentrations from May to September every year during the growing season. This fertilization of the marsh has been going on at Sweeney Creek since the 2004 growing season through 2012 and at Clubhead Creek in 2005 and from 2009 till 2012
Contact: Plum Island Ecosystems LTER Information Manager
The Ecosystems Center
Marine Biological Lab
7 MBL St
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Phone (508) 289 7485
Online URL:
Data File URL
Data File Name LTE-TIDE-Geomorphology
Beginning Date 8/1/2009
End Date 8/30/2012
Number of Data Records 192
Other Files to Reference
Availability Status Type 1
Quality Control Information
Maintenance Description On going collections
Log of Changes: Version 01: September 24, 2012, updated data and metadata. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007.xlsm 3/23/12 12:08 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Version 02: June 20, 2013 data and metadata updated to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA. Research location name and description updated.Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007.xlsm 3/14/13 12:02 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Version 03: May 28, 2014, edited beginning date, data and metadata comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007.xlsm 5/28/14 2:09 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Geographic Description "Sweeney Creek", off Rowley River, Ipswich, MA West Creek, off Rowley River, Rowley, MA. Clubhead Creek off Rowley River, Rowley, MA. Nelson Island Creek, off Rowley River, Rowley,  
Location Bounding Box          
West Bounding Coordinate -70.851 -70.852 -70.842 -70.836  
East Bounding Coordinate -70.845 -70.846 -70.836 -70.831  
North Bounding Coordinate 42.724 42.741 42.742 42.744  
South Bounding Coordinate 42.719 42.736 42.738 42.74  
OR if single point location          
Taxonomic Protocols
Organisms studied Spartina patens, Spartina alterniflora, Distichlis spicata
Methods: Creek geomorphology was measured during the growing season. Fractures, defined as a visible break in the high marsh (S. patens-dominated) turf that paralleled the creek channel (Fig. S1) within 3 m of the S. alterniflora/S. patens border were measured early in the growing season before the grass obscured fractures. Both sides of each creek were sampled for fractures in contiguous 50m reaches from the 0-m mark to 250-300-m landward. The number of fractures and their characteristics (length, width and depth of fracture) was recorded within each reach. Percent mud was determined by point-intercept transects in the mid growing season, when the grass canopy was fully developed, at 1-m increments for both sides of each creek channel starting at the 0-m mark and extending landward 250-300 m in contiguous 50-m reaches. Observations were made 1-m perpendicular and creekward of the S. alterniflora/S. patens border. Each meter was scored as “vegetated” – with S. alterniflora culms within a 30 cm diameter circle of the point, or “bare mud” – without S. alterniflora. The fraction of points within each 50 m reach was considered a single observation.

Year -
The calender year the data was collected

Years enriched-
The number of years creeks have experienced artificial nutrient enrichment

Reference creeks are West and Nelson
Nutrient Enriched creeks are Sweeney and Clubhead. Sweeney has been fertilized every summer from 2004-2012 Clubhead had been fertilized in 2005 and then from 2009-2012.

Section -
Four reaches within each tidal creek were sampled. One = 0-50 m, two =50-100m, three=100=150m, four=150-200m

All creeks have 2 branches (left and right) determined by remaining at confluence of branches and facing upland areas.

Data Table

Variable Name Variable Description Units Measurement Scale Code Information Number Type DateTime Format Missing Value Code Missing Value Code Explanation
Year Calendar year sample was collected   datetime     yyyy NA NA = not available
Years enriched Number of years creek has experienced nutrient enrichment   nominal       NA NA = not available
Creek Name of Tidal Creek   nominal Sweeney= Nutrient Enriched |Nelson= Nutrient Enriched| West= Reference| Clubhead= Reference     NA NA = not available
Branch Branch of Creek   nominal L=Left | R=Right     NA NA = not available
Side Side of the creek sampled   nominal       NA NA = not available
Section Section of creek sampled   nominal One = 0-50 m | two =50-100m | three=100-150m | four=150-200m     NA NA = not available
Fracture length Fracture length (m) meter ratio   real   NA NA = not available
Number of fractures Number of fractures per 50 m number ratio   real   NA NA = not available
Percent Cracked Percentage of creek cracked per 50 m percent ratio   real   NA NA = not available
Percent Mud Percentage of creek with mud per 50 m percent ratio   real   NA NA = not available