A Tale of Two Estuaries: Columbia Bay, Alaska, and San Francisco Bay, California

  • Roy A. Walters
Part of the Contemporary Issues in Science and Society book series (CISS)


Columbia Bay and San Francisco Bay are two estuaries that are opposites in almost every respect. Columbia Bay is a deep, high latitude fjord where dynamics are dominated by subglacial freshwater flows; San Francisco Bay is a shallow estuary dominated by tides and to a lesser extent by freshwater inflow. These different forcing mechanisms in conjunction with the dissimilar geometries, lead to different circulation patterns. These two particular estuaries provide examples of the wide range of circulation patterns found in estuaries.


Wind Stress Spring Tide Neap Tide Freshwater Inflow Tidal Prism 
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Copyright information

© The Humana Press Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roy A. Walters
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyTacomaUSA

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