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Dr. Charles Flagg took another flight over the Breach at Old Inlet on Fire Island on May 11, 2016.  The flyover mosaic is available below.  Dr. Flagg provided the following report:

The flight took place just after low tide in the bay, ~8:40AM EDT May 11th, so many of the sand shoals were dry while clear ocean flood waters covered the area making the submerged channel and shoals more visible than last month.  Overall, the situation looks very similar to last month with the exception that the ebb shoal has reappeared and there also seems to be the beginnings of the seasonal spit growing out of the western shore.  The mosaic from this flight does a better job of showing the path of the main channel which passes close to the large area of sand left over from the collapse of the spit last fall and then passes close to the remains of Pelican Island.  The minimum width of the deep channel is about 100 meters while the overall breach opening is about 400 meters.  These numbers have remained about the same for more than a year.
Results from the realtime monitoring of conditions in Great South Bay show that salinities in Bellport Bay remain about the same, between 28 and 30 psu, while salinities at the GSB1 buoy south of Sayville are between 28 and 29 psu.  The fluorometer on the buoy which measures chlorophyll, shows that spring algal bloom has started in the middle of the bay while the sensor at Bellport in the east indicates that the spring bloom has yet to begin.  Temperatures in the bay are around 15C, a little cold for brown tide, but increasing rapidly.
The GSB1 buoy was moved to a protected area over the winter and after refurbishment and new batteries, redeployed in its usual position in mid-April.


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.  An offline version of the KML file is available as KMZ.

For more information, please visit Dr. Charles Flagg’s website.


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