LiveOcean: Pacific Northwest Ocean and Estuary Forecasts

TODAY'S Forecasts: Puget Sound Oil Spills | Puget Sound Hypoxia | Willapa Bay Ocean Acidification


Forecast for Ocean Acidification in Washington Coastal Estuaries

This movie shows the predicted distribution aragonite saturation state (Ωarag) for bottom and surface waters in the three main estuaries on the Washington Coast. When the aragonite saturation state is below about 1.5 it is likely that larval oysters will not survive because they will be unable to form shells. The panel on the left emphasizes that fact that during upwelling conditions (winds from the north, typically in the summer) the deep waters entering the coastal estuaries from the shelf can be relatively "corrosive" (low aragonite saturation state) because of natural and anthropogenic processes. The panel on the right emphasizes the river contribution. In particular, water from the Columbia River can also be corrosive, and this water often enters Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor during downwelling conditions (winds from the south, typical of storms any time of year).