South Sound Science: South Sound Water Circulation

Skip Albertson of the Washington Department of Ecology, talks about “Going with the flow: South Sound water circulation.

Description of the particularly complicated circulation patterns in South Sound that determine the marine equivalent of upstream and downstream.

From his talk:

Generally, places closer to the Tacoma Narrows, flush easier than places deeper in the South Sound. Upper Case and Pickering Passage flow much slower than Nisqually Reach and Budd Inlet.

Flushing helps in Oakland Bay in the winter because of the number of creeks that flow into the bay. “A little stick” stirring the bay.

From the summary: the biggest impact is the tides. On top of that is the estuarine flow from the rivers, which in turn is impacted by the wind.

Questions and Answers:

How do you use the term flushing? Usually it is used to describe water flowing out of Puget Sound.

Really talking about residence time, but was calling it flushing to keep it simple.