The Duwamish River estuary has been the object of a series of comprehensive studies undertaken to predict the effects of the changing character of waste-water inputs on the water quality of the estuary. This report discusses the fresh- and salt-water relations of the estuary. The distance that the salt-water wedge in the estuary moves upstream and downstream with the tide is measured by a method that utilizes the persistence of the longitudinal gradient of dissolved oxygen in the salt water of the wedges. The method, though unorthodox, can serve as an independent check on any other measurements of tidal-excursion distance. Typical values obtained were a 1-kilometer excursion for a 1.3-meter tide range and a 3-kilometer excursion for a 3-meter tide range. This method of tracing the water movement seems to work because of two unusual aspects of the Duwamish River estuary: (1) the channel configuration is simple and well-suited to synoptic measurement and (2) the physical properties of the entering salt water are nearly constant.
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USGS Numbered Series
Measurement of salt-wedge excursion distance in the Duwamish River Estuary, Seattle, Washington, by means of the dissolved-oxygen gradient