The horizontal distribution of salinity in Pamlico Sound is influenced by wind and long-term runoff. Vertical salinity gradients are minimal (<0.7 ‰/20 feet) in the main body of the sound, intermediate (>12 ‰/20 feet) in the river mouths and maximal (>14 ‰/9
feet) in the northern part of Core Sound. Water temperature closely follows air temperature with practically no stratification. Currents in the sound resulting from wind friction reach velocities of 69 cm./sec. Currents resulting from runoff are calculated to be of the order of 0.5 cm./sec.
Tidal exchange in the inlets amounts to about 220 × 106m3 per tide. This amount, equivalent to 8 times the average river flow, would produce a rise and fall over the whole sound of 5 cm. Estimates of wind “setup” at the northern end of Pamlico Sound
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