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Salish Sea Circulation Maps

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A computational technique was developed to allow summation of volume fluxes across arbitrary transects through unstructured finite volume cells. Using this method, tidally averaged volume fluxes were computed at multiple transects. The results were used to validate the classic model of Circulation in Embracing Sills (Ebbesmeyer and Barnes 1980) for Puget Sound and also to provide quantitative estimates of the lateral distribution of tidally averaged transport through the system. Sensitivity tests with and without exchanges through Johnstone Strait demonstrate that it is a pathway for outflow of Georgia Basin runoff and Fraser River water from the Salish Sea and for inflow of Pacific Ocean from the north (Khangaonkar et al. 2017a).

Salish Sea tidally averaged surface outflow (left) and inflow (right). Flows are an average of Year 2006 flows across each transect from the water column above the depth of zero motion and typically represents brackish water flow out of the estuary. The arrows indicate the direction only and magnitudes are indicated in units of 1 x 103 m3/s.
Puget Sound tidally averaged surface outflow (left) and inflow (right). Flows are an average of Year 2006 flows across each transect from the water column above the depth of zero motion and typically represents brackish water flow out of the estuary. The arrows indicate the direction only and magnitudes are indicated in units of 1 x 103 m3/s.
Note: Estimated Reflux flow at Admiralty Inlet Sill is comparable to the estimate of 2/3rd of Surface Outflow by Ebbesmeyer (1984).