Event Title

A Review of the Salish Sea Estuarine Circulation

Presentation Abstract

I will give a broad overview of what we know about the tidally-averaged circulation of the Salish Sea. This "estuarine circulation" strongly governs primary production and water quality throughout the system. It brings in nitrate (and low DO) from the NE Pacific shelf break through Juan de Fuca Canyon, and defines the residence times of the many sub-basins. In terms of volume flux it is several tens of times greater than the sum of all the rivers. Our early knowledge from the mid 1900's was guided by CTD casts and use of the Knudsen Relation to estimate a 2-layer transport. Slowly this was supplemented by detailed current meter studies which revealed more complex 3-layer flows, and time dependence on spring-neap and seasonal time scales. Our current knowledge is greatly augmented by detailed 3D numerical simulations, both of the whole Salish Sea and of specific deltas, bays, and sills. Observations with high temporal resolution, such as from the ORCA buoys in Puget Sound have expanded our knowledge of short events such as plankton blooms. In addition long term monitoring programs are just beginning to reveal the extent of inter-annual variability.

Session Title

Salish Sea Estuarine Circulation

Conference Track

Habitat

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Document Type

Event

Location

2016SSEC

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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A Review of the Salish Sea Estuarine Circulation

2016SSEC

I will give a broad overview of what we know about the tidally-averaged circulation of the Salish Sea. This "estuarine circulation" strongly governs primary production and water quality throughout the system. It brings in nitrate (and low DO) from the NE Pacific shelf break through Juan de Fuca Canyon, and defines the residence times of the many sub-basins. In terms of volume flux it is several tens of times greater than the sum of all the rivers. Our early knowledge from the mid 1900's was guided by CTD casts and use of the Knudsen Relation to estimate a 2-layer transport. Slowly this was supplemented by detailed current meter studies which revealed more complex 3-layer flows, and time dependence on spring-neap and seasonal time scales. Our current knowledge is greatly augmented by detailed 3D numerical simulations, both of the whole Salish Sea and of specific deltas, bays, and sills. Observations with high temporal resolution, such as from the ORCA buoys in Puget Sound have expanded our knowledge of short events such as plankton blooms. In addition long term monitoring programs are just beginning to reveal the extent of inter-annual variability.