Proposed Abstract Title

Long-term monitoring reveals the combined effects of local conditions and large-scale climatic drivers on water quality in a Salish Sea embayment.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Changes in Ecosystem Function and Climate Revealed by Long-term Monitoring in the Salish Sea

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Padilla Bay is a shallow embayment north of Puget Sound and one of 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) that have been established as a living laboratory to monitor and research water quality in estuarine ecosystems. An integral part of the Padilla Bay monitoring program is maintaining long-term monitoring stations throughout the bay which provide continuous measurements of water quality parameters. In this presentation we report on over fifteen years of monitoring data and the patterns in temperature and salinity these data have revealed. Our analyses reveal that despite large diel and monthly variability in temperature driven by local environmental conditions in Padilla Bay (i.e. a large, shallow embayment), longer temporal scale patterns appear to be strongly influenced by climatic cycles (e.g., PDO, ENSO). Analysis of surface salinity data during the same time period reveals a general trend from more saline waters in the early 2000’s to fresher conditions in recent years. Surface salinity is also influenced by periodic intrusions of freshwater to Padilla Bay, with discharge data suggesting that both Nooksack and Fraser Rivers play an important role. Our investigation also employs a multivariate classification framework to analyze data from multiple NERRs across the US, identify short- and long-term variability in ocean temperature across these estuaries, and identify how drivers of ocean temperature are unique in waters of the Pacific Northwest (PNW). Not surprisingly, PDO is relatively important in driving surface water temperatures in the PNW relative to east coast estuaries, whereas salinity is less variable. Our analyses provide insight into factors influencing temperature, salinity and other aspects of water quality in the Salish Sea and how these change on multiple spatial and temporal scales.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

Long-term monitoring reveals the combined effects of local conditions and large-scale climatic drivers on water quality in a Salish Sea embayment.

2016SSEC

Padilla Bay is a shallow embayment north of Puget Sound and one of 28 National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs) that have been established as a living laboratory to monitor and research water quality in estuarine ecosystems. An integral part of the Padilla Bay monitoring program is maintaining long-term monitoring stations throughout the bay which provide continuous measurements of water quality parameters. In this presentation we report on over fifteen years of monitoring data and the patterns in temperature and salinity these data have revealed. Our analyses reveal that despite large diel and monthly variability in temperature driven by local environmental conditions in Padilla Bay (i.e. a large, shallow embayment), longer temporal scale patterns appear to be strongly influenced by climatic cycles (e.g., PDO, ENSO). Analysis of surface salinity data during the same time period reveals a general trend from more saline waters in the early 2000’s to fresher conditions in recent years. Surface salinity is also influenced by periodic intrusions of freshwater to Padilla Bay, with discharge data suggesting that both Nooksack and Fraser Rivers play an important role. Our investigation also employs a multivariate classification framework to analyze data from multiple NERRs across the US, identify short- and long-term variability in ocean temperature across these estuaries, and identify how drivers of ocean temperature are unique in waters of the Pacific Northwest (PNW). Not surprisingly, PDO is relatively important in driving surface water temperatures in the PNW relative to east coast estuaries, whereas salinity is less variable. Our analyses provide insight into factors influencing temperature, salinity and other aspects of water quality in the Salish Sea and how these change on multiple spatial and temporal scales.