Maryland Department of Natural Resources


Baltimore Harbor Surficial Sediments:
Texture and Chemistry
Baltimore, Maryland (Tabular Data)

This data set presents information about the characteristics of sediments from the Patapsco and Back Rivers. 155 surficial sediment samples were collected with a grab sampler in November 1994, February 1995, and June 1996. The upper 2 cm of material was analyzed, thus the characteristics represent the conditions in the harbor at the time of sample collection.

The purpose of the project was to establish grain size characteristics (texture) of surficial bottom sediments for use in associated efforts to model sediment resuspension and transport and to gather information on sediment contaminant levels. Funding for the studies was provided by the Maryland Department of the Environment.

The data table contains the following data fields: Sample Number, Collection Date, Latitude, Longitude, Water Depth (ft), Percent Water Content, Bulk Density (g/cc), Percent Sand and Gravel, Percent Silt, Percent Clay, Percent Nitrogen, Percent Carbon, Percent Sulfur. The data table is provided as a comma delimited ASCII file. The associated metadata table should be referred to for details of the analysis procedures and parameters. The metadata is provided in both ASCII and Word Perfect formats.

An interactive map for this database is available on this website. You can display data for individual sampling locations by clicking the locations on an index map. Follow the VIEW: MAP link at the bottom of this page to use the interactive map.

A brief metadata summary is presented here, but is not intended to replace the complete metadata text.


Description: This is a data table, in comma-delimited, ASCII format, which contains information about selected physical properties, particularly grain size, of 155 surficial sediment samples from Baltimore Harbor (Patapsco and Back Rivers) in Maryland. Samples were collected by the Maryland Geological Survey (MGS) in November 1994, February 1995, and June 1996.
Purpose: Establishing grain size characteristics of surficial bottom sediments for modeling sediment resuspension and transport and for baseline information of sediment contaminant levels.
Custodian: Maryland Department of Natural Resources/Maryland Geological Survey
Contact: Jeff Halka - (410) 554-5543; e-mail:
Date: Sediment samples collected between November 1994 and June 1996
Data Type: Data table
Format: Comma-delimited ASCII
Geographic Area: Patapsco River, including Baltimore Harbor, and Back River
Coordinate System: Latitude/Longitude, NAD83, decimal degrees
Attributes: Station identification number; collection date; station coordinates; water depth; water content; bulk density; grain size distribution expressed as percent sand + gravel, percent silt and percent clay; carbon content; sulfur content; nitrogen content (See metadata)
Detailed Metadata: Yes - Follow this link