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-MP-NAC-elevationmeans.08
Dataset Title:Marsh surface elevation data from control plots at a Spartina alterniflora-dominated salt marsh at Goat Island, North Inlet, Georgetown, SC.
Investigator 1: 
First Name:Jim
Last Name:Morris
Address line 1:Dept of Biological Sciences
Address line 2:
Address line 3:University of SC
Zip Code:29208
Investigator 2: 
First Name:Karen
Last Name:Sundberg
Address line 1:Baruch Marine Field Laboratory
Address line 3:PO Box 1630
Zip Code:29442
Associate Investigators:Diana Rodriguez
Keywords:LTER, PIE, Plum Island Ecosystems, South Carolina, North Inlet, disturbance, organic matter, estuary, salt marsh, Spartina alterniflora, elevation, surface elevation table (SET), sedimentation erosion table (SET), Southeast United States
Abstract:A Surface Elevation Table (SET) is used to measure changes in the elevation of the platform at a Spartina alterniflora-dominated marsh on the Goat Island, North Inlet, Georgetown, SC. Measurements are done monthly.
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-MP-NAC-elevationmeans
Beginning Date 6/1/1996
End Date 12/31/2016
Number of Data Records 208
Other Files to Reference LTE-MP-LAC-elevationmeans; LTE-MP-LPC-elevationmeans
Availability Status type 1
Quality Control Information
Maintenance Description Collections occur approximately every month. Database is updated seasonally. Study and data collection are ongoing as of Jan 2015.
Log of Changes: Version 01; new data and metadata
Version 02; new data and metadata
Version 03: February 2, 2012, updated data and metadata to Dec 2011. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007.xlsm 2/1/12 5:00 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Version 04: August 8, 2013, 2012 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 05: April 23, 2014, 2013 data and metadata updated to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA.Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007_Sep2013.xlsm 9/30/13 02:57 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Version 06: February 18, 2015, data and metadata updates to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007_Jan2015.xlsm 1/15/15 4:26 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Version 07: February 24, 2016, data and metadata updates to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007_Jan2015.xlsm 1/15/15 4:26 PM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Version 08: September 15, 2017, data and metadata updates to comply with importation to Drupal and LTER PASTA. Used MarcrosExportEML_HTML (working)pie_excel2007_Jun2017.xlsm 6/15/17 10:23 AM for QA/QC to EML 2.1.0
Geographic Description Goat Island, North Inlet, Georgetown, SC; high marsh Spartina alterniflora plot level fertilization experiment (GIHM). The Goat Island sites are accessible from Clambank Rd. about 1/2mile south of Clambank Landing. A board walk connects the high marsh siteand the low marsh site. The North Inlet Estuary is located onthe southeastern coast of the United States, approximately 10 kilometers east of Georgetown, South Carolina. The North Inlet Estuary lies east of the uplands of Hobcaw Barony (also known as the Belle W. Baruch Property). To the north of the Estuary is the Debordieu Colony Property. North Inlet Estuary is a bar-built Class C type estuary (Pritchard, 1955) and is arelatively small tidal estuary (area = 2630 hectares). It is composed of numerous winding tidal creeks dominated bySpartina alterniflora and is considered a pristine tidal estuary due to minimal anthropogenic impacts. The watershed drains a 24.8 square kilometer area of mostly pine forest and a moderately developed residential watershed to the north.  
Location Bounding Box    
West Bounding Coordinate    
East Bounding Coordinate    
North Bounding Coordinate    
South Bounding Coordinate    
OR if single point location    
Latitude 33.331659  
Longitude -79.198208  
Taxonomic Protocols
Organisms studied Spartina alterniflora
This data set is part of an on-going project in a Spartina alterniflora-dominated marsh at the Baruch Marine Field Laboratory in North Inlet, Georgetown, SC.

Sampling Description:
Triplicate original-style SET stations were installed in the high marsh (HM) on the marsh platform in a Spartina alterniflora-dominated marsh at Goat Island, North Inlet, Georgetown, SC in June 1996. Each SET sampling site consists of a permanently installed post and a removable arm. The arm has a vertical and a horizontal component. The vertical component fits into the SET benchmark post; the horizontal component reaches out over the experimental subplot and has a square plate at the end through which 9 pins are lowered. Each SET post is associated with two adjacent plots (one control, one NP fertilized; only the control data are included here). Each plot has 3 subplots. To measure elevations, the SET arm is locked in place over each subplot, is leveled, and the 9 fiberglass pins are lowered to touch the sediment surface and held in place with a clip. Pin heights are measured from the top of the nut on the plate to the top of the pin, and read into a digital recorder. The recordings are transcribed into one master SET pin height data set. Surface elevations are measured approximately monthly.

The SET was manufactured by Nolanís Machine Shop in Lafayette LA; 337-235-5261. Replacement pins or collars can be purchased from Nolanís. Stainless steel parts (roll pins etc) come from McMaster-Carr. Measuring pins are held in place with badge clips, available at office supply stores.

Numerical Processing:
Data are reported as the mean change in elevation and standard error of t replicate plots (n=81) over time. Change in marsh elevation is determined by subtracting pin height at time X from the mean pin height for the subplot at time 0. Statistics were performed using SAS (SAS System for Windows; release 9.1; SAS Institute, Inc; Cary, NC).

LTE-MP-NIN-GIHM, ~ 0.5 meters NAVD88

Data Table

Variable Name Variable Description Units Measurement Scale Code Information Number Type DateTime Format Missing Value Code Missing Value Code Explanation
site name of sampling station   nominal          
year year   datetime     yyyy    
month month   datetime     mm    
day day   datetime     dd    
elev change mean change in elevation centimeter interval   real   . .=not measured
stderr standard error of the mean centimeter interval   real   . .=not measured