Charles N. Flagg E-mail: Charles.Flagg@stonybrook.edu
Robert E. Wilson E-mail: Robert.Wilson@stonybrook.edu
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY 11794-5000
The Great South Bay Project
The goal of
the Great South Bay program is to gain a thorough understanding
of the biogeochemistry of the Bay and its effect on pelagic and
benthic communities. Currently this effort is supported by
the NY Department of State in which observations and models are
combined in support of the development of an ecosystem based
management approach to address the ecological problems besetting
the Bay. This webpage shows some of the hydrodynamic model
results to date and presents physical observational data
collected over the past several years. Currently,
the hydrodynamic model is undergoing a major upgrade so as to
deal more effectively with the complex topography of the western
portions of the Bay. The model results presented below
deal with one aspect of the Bay, that is the potential impact of
a large breach in Fire Island. The model is also being
used to study the impact of tides and winds on the distribution
and dispersal of passive tracers and plankton. This
page also presents much of the observational data from
temperature and salinity sensors that have been deployed around
the eastern portion of the Bay since 2004. Since 2010 some
of these instruments have been enhanced to measure sea level,
chlorophyll and turbidity. And since the middle of 2010
real-time data from the Smith Point bridge and a telemetering
buoy south of Sayville have also become available. All the
observational data are available below.
Hurricane Sandy and breaches at Old Inlet, Coast Guard Cut, and Moriches Inlet
Real time data from the Bellport dock is presented below in the Great South Bay Observatory section.
|Hurricane Sandy caused significant over washes and
three breaches in Fire Island in the area between the
historic Old Inlet area and Moriches Inlet. Aerial
video and photos were obtained Saturday, November 3rd, 5
days after the storm's passage. A short description
and photos of the breaches is available here while youtube videos are
aerial survey of the inlet was carried out on Sunday November
18th which showed that the sand island connecting Pelican Island
to Fire Island had been cut by a new channel to the west.
A series of photos showing the evolution of the inlet is given here.
December 1st there was a meeting at Bellport's community center
to discuss the breach in the Old Inlet area. A power point presentation
given at that meeting shows how the dynamics of the Great South
Bay and the ocean resulted in the formation of the breach and
how the breach has affected the tides, wind driven storm surge
and the salinity of the eastern end of the Bay.
meeting on the developments of the breach, now referred to as
New Inlet, took place on March 23rd at the Bellport Middle
School. Charles Flagg gave a power point presentation to the meeting
attended by about 500 people to hear position reports from the
FINS and the NYDEC, and presentations by Charles Flagg, Kevin
McAlaster and Joe Gagliano.
Charles Flagg, Christopher Gobler, Chris Soler, Jim Gilmore,
Tony Graves and Joe Gagliano took place at the Bellport Middle
School on December 21, 2013 to outline the current status of the
New Inlet and initiation of the NPS's Environmental Impact
Statement project. Flagg's power point presentation is
A series of reports on the breach development are listed below.
December 14, 2012 report on the new
inlet through November is available here.
On January 5, 2013 another aerial over flight took place and a photo summary of the evolving breach at Old Inlet to the present is available here.
January 14, 2013 report on the inlet that goes through December is available here.
The January 30th report on the status of the inlet is available here.
The February 27th report on the bay and inlet with new bathymetry of the inlet is here.
The March 15th report on the inlet and the impact of east-coast wide water level fluctuations is here.
The June 28th report on the inlet's evolution. the cross-sectional area and changes in the Bay-wide salinity is here.
The 10th report on the inlet's condition, issued Dec 12, 2013 is here.
Below is the series of aerial photos of the New Inlet
from the south looking north across Fire Island. The
aerial photography has been a community effort with pilots
Rich Giannotti, Don Richards, Charlie Flagg and Vinny
Petruso and photographers Charlie Flagg, Mike Ferrigno, Rich
Weismann, Justin Flagg, Brian Wasser, Jamie Shreeve, John
Vahey, Brad Furman, Chris Gobler, Michael Busch and Art
Nov 3, 2012 (CF&RG)
Nov 11, 2012 (CF&RG)
2013 (BF & CF)
||July 7, 2013
(CG & CF)
||Aug 5, 2013
||Sept 15, 2013
|Oct 19, 2013 (CF)
||Nov 6, 2013 (CF)
||Dec 8, 2013 (CF)
||Dec 19, 2013 (JF&CF)
Jan 8, 2013 (AL)
|Jan 21, 2014 (CF)
||Feb 20, 2014 (CF)
||Mar 24, 2014 (CF)
Apr 22, 2014 (CF)
|May 18, 2014 (CF)
||June 8, 2014 (CF&RG)
|July 31, 2014 (CF&RG)
||Aug 28, 2014 (CF)
||Sept 8, 2014 (JV)
||Sept 26, 2014 (CF)
|With Mark Lang's help
a series of overflights of
the New Inlet have
produced detailed photo
mosaics of the inlet and
back bay area.
||June 16, 2013
|July 7, 2013
||Aug 5, 2013
||Sept 15, 2013
||Oct 19, 2013
||Nov 6, 2013
|Dec 8, 2013
||Dec 19, 2013
||Jan 21, 2014
||Feb 20, 2014
||Mar 24, 2014
|Apr 22, 2014
||May 18, 2014
||June 24, 2014
||July 31, 2014
||Aug 28, 2014
|Sept 26, 2014
Mark Lang has assembled all the geo-referenced photo mosaics into a kml file that can be viewed using Google Earth. By clicking between images and using the fade in-out button you can clearly see how the inlet is changing with time. The URL for the kml file is: http://wx.somassbu.org/products/kml/OldInletBreach.kml
Great South Bay Observatory Data Collection
Location of Observatory Components
| Data are being collected
from eight stations on the Great South Bay using SeaCat
instruments measuring temperature and salinity.
The stations include, from east to west on the
north shore: Smith Point, Bellport, Blue Point, Islip and Tanner Park, and
the US Coast Guard Station and Barrett Beach on Fire
Island. The instruments are deployed for as much
as three months at a time, less in the summer due to
16 Plus SeaCat with WetLabs FLNTUS
In addition to the delayed-mode SeaCat data, meteorological data are being collected from the south tower of the Smith Point bridge and these data are available in real time below. That data includes temperature and salinity from the Smith Point SeaCat, short and long wave radiation from Eppley pyronometers, and wind speed, wind direction, air temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and rainfall rate from a Vaisala WXT520.
On October 6th, 2010 we deployed GSB #1 buoy south of Sayville at 40o 41.6'N, 73o 05.1'W. This buoy reports wind speed and direction, air temperature and humidity, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), water temperature and salinity, chlorophyll-a fluorescence and turbidity. On December 29, 2010 ice forming in the Bay carried the buoy quite a ways as the ice sheets broke up and started to move around. The ice finally released the buoy south of Islip in mid-February at which time we towed the buoy to the West Sayville Marina on February 17th. After checking on the systems and repainting, the buoy was towed out and re-anchored near its original location, 40 41.552 N, 73 5.144 W, on March 23, 2011. The winter of 2011-2012 was particularly mild and we did not have any trouble with ice flows but significant ice build up in January 2013 captured the buoy again and dragged it first south and then some two miles west. It will be returned to its proper location as soon as possible.
|Smith Point Bridge
||GSB Buoy #1 south of Sayville||Bellport Marina
Buoy #1 data:
Wind, Air Temp, Humidity, PAR,
Water Temp, Salinity, Chlorophyll-a
Hour-Averaged Data Files:
|Plot of Bellport
the past 60 days
1/2 hour averaged data file
The plot and data file include NAVD88 water level, detided water level, temperature, salinity, fluorescence and turbidity. The real time sensor is located at the end of the marina dock.
Delayed-Mode SeaCat Data
from sites around Great South Bay
Islip Hatch/Fish Pier
||USCG Fire Island Inlet
|| Carmans River
|Right-click to download any of the data files|
||Matlab Data Files
||ASCII Data files
Beach on Fire Island
Beach dat file
||Blue Point matfile||Blue
Point dat file
||Carmans River matfile
||Carmans River dat file
||Islip Hatchery matfile||Islip
Hatchery dat file
Park Fishing Pier
||Tanner Park matfile||Tanner
Park dat file
Fire Island Inlet matfile
Fire Island dat file
||Smith Point matfile|
A map of the United States showing precipitation.
NDBO Buoy 44025
Shows a 3-meter discus buoy South of Long Island.
Islip Airport Weather
Brookhaven Airport Weather
Local Towns Weather
Gives basic weather information for seven towns around Long Island.
Click on the Current Marine Data and the corresponding area to see wave height and wind data over the oceans.