Puget Sound Metrics
How does the ocean affect Puget Sound?
This metric compares how current coastal conditions track their long term average. For each variable, the current year (orange line) and last year (muted orange line) are compared to past years (gray lines) and their average (thick gray line). Any notable excursions from average indicate that Puget Sound will be receiving particularly warm/cold or salty/fresh waters, with higher or lower than average oxygen or chlorophyll content. Read More
Puget Sound water properties are influenced by changes in coastal source waters, that is oceanic waters that inflow to the Sound through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is important to track the variation in the oceanic supply waters so that we can understand if variation in Puget Sound might be related.
This metric tracks both near-surface and near-bottom water properties on the northwest Washington shelf using UW/NANOOS mooring observations. Both near-surface (1 meter depth) and near bottom (85 meters in 100 meters total water depth) climatologies, long-term averages, were created using the more than a decade long historical observations at this site. We present departures from the long-term average for temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, and chlorophyll. Significant shelf changes that are correlated with and precede similar changes in Puget Sound are a potential indicator that source water changes are driving Puget Sound variability.