Puget Sound Metrics
How fast are Puget Sound's waters moving?
This metric shows how fast the deep inflow into Puget Sound is (this year, orange line, last year muted orange line) compared to the average of previous years (gray line). If the flow is above the average, that means there is faster inflow and Puget Sound flushes more quickly. Click on different basins to see their information. Read More
Puget Sound's estuarine circulation is primarily driven by an exchange of freshwater input from rivers and oceanic input at depth. This exchange can drive water property and ecological changes. Estuarine circulation determines flushing times (or residence times) of Puget Sound's many basins, which in turn influences how long or how much suspended or dissolved matter (e.g., larvae or contaminants) is retained or flushed out. The timing of the estuarine exchange can vary dramatically.
Leveraging a statistical relationship found in the UW LiveOcean Model between the strength of estuarine flow and density differences, we obtain flow estimates using UW/NANOOS ORCA buoy density observations. Flow estimates are found from a difference in density between two buoys for several locations within Puget Sound. Historical buoy observations are used to form a climatology, providing context for the near real-time metric.