Puget Sound Oceanography • An introduction by Fritz Stahr & Christian Sarason • Outline • estuary definition • examples - PS, SF Bay, Chesapeake • tides & other cycles (view model runs) • exercise with real data
San Francisco Bay where the Central Valley rivers meets the Pacific is an estuary. Where the Mississippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico is not an estuary, though some side drainage is. An estuary is... A place where river(s) meets the ocean... that has surrounding land and a limited opening...
and where the fresh and salt water mix. An estuary is... A place where river(s) meet the ocean that has surrounding land and a limited opening... Puget Sound is an estuary; it is connected to the Pacific ocean through the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
U.S. Estuary Examples Chesapeake Bay
With a sill - “fjord” - e.g., Puget Sound Different bathymetry makes for different circulation and mixing “Standard” deep mouth - e.g., Chesapeake, Tampa & SF Bay
Low river flow + stong tides = well mixed Different river flow makes for different circulation and mixing High river flow + weak tides = strong salt wedge
A quick lesson on tides in Puget Sound... Each day there are two high and two low tides here, but they’re unequal...we call it “semi-diurnal mixed.”
A quick lesson on tides in Puget Sound... Every other week, the “phase” or type of tidal range changes between “spring” - large differences between high and low- and “neap” - smaller differences. This plays a role in circulation within the Sound. Predictions for October 2-28, 2003
Let’s see some of this in Puget Sound... (drum roll please.... cue the model)