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CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA

Showing 2021-2022 SMA Season

 
 

10 knot speed limit (November 1 - April 30)

This interactive map shows Panamax and Post-Panamax vessels at their mean speeds for 2021-2022 SMA season. Hover to view details. The monitored section of the entrance channel is 9.7 nautical miles.

Ship Behavior at Charleston

Monitoring shows that ships appear to have ample margins for safety in ordinary (non-adverse) conditions—the Charleston entrance channel can be navigated at the regulatory 10-knot speed most of the time. See Figures below.

Speed distribution for Post-Panamax and Panamax vessels. 10 knot seasonal speed limit marked in red. Mean vessel speed (VSPD) is computed for the 2021-2022 SMA season. Automatic Identification System (AIS) data is recorded in one-minute time resolution for all vessel positions in the channel. Pan, zoom, hover for details.

Figures
Showing 2021-2022 SMA Season

Speed distribution for each monitored vessel. Ship speed is consistently high along the length of the channel. 10 knot mandatory speed limit marked in red. Hover to see details for each vessel, toggle the legend to isolate one-way or two-way traffic. Shown in one-minute time resolution for the 2021-2022 SMA season.

Wind speed (WSPD) Charleston SMA. NOAA data matched to AIS data in one-minute time resolution. Adverse WSPD Threshold of 30 mph identified by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Charleston Pilots Association. See Charleston, South Carolina Navigation Study. Wind data based on weather buoys for the 2021-2022 SMA season. Pan, zoom, hover for details. NOAA buoy source.

VSPD vs WSPD. High vessel speed during non-adverse wind conditions. Legend showing vessel positions in one-minute time resolution. Wind data based on weather buoys for the 2021-2022 SMA season. 10 knot mandatory speed limit marked in red. Pan, zoom, hover for details.

Vessel yaw (course minus heading). Generally below 5º and rarely reaches the threshold for navigational safety indicated by the Charleston pilots of 10º. See Navigation Update: Charleston Branch Pilots Association. Vessel speed has negligible effect on yaw. VSPD-Yaw correlation is computed for the 2021-2022 SMA season in one-minute time resolution for all positions in the channel. 10 knot mandatory speed limit and 10º yaw navigational safety threshold marked in red. Pan, zoom, hover for details.

Percent of Channel Occupied. Reduced leeway for two-way traffic is a self-inflicted condition. 10 knot speed limit marked in red. Hover to see details for each vessel; toggle the legend to isolate one-way or two-way traffic. Shown in one-minute time resolution for all vessel positions in the channel for the 2021-2022 SMA season.

Figure Data

2021-2022 SMA Season

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