In 1994, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the U.S. Navy, deployed three sets of moorings in Sinclair Inlet, which is a relatively small embayment on the western side of Puget Sound (fig. 1). This inlet is home to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. One purpose of the measurement program was to determine the transport pathways and fate of contaminants known to be present in Sinclair Inlet. Extensive descriptions of the program and the resultant information about contaminant pathways have been reported in Gartner and others (1998). This report primarily focused on the bottom boundary layer and the potential for resuspension and transport of sediments on the seabed in Sinclair Inlet as a result of tides and waves. Recently (2013), interest in transport pathways for suspended and dissolved materials in Sinclair Inlet has been rekindled. In particular, the USGS scientists in Washington and California have been asked to reexamine the datasets collected in the earlier study to refine not only our understanding of transport pathways through the inlet, but to determine how those transport pathways are affected by subtidal currents, local wind stress, and fresh water inputs. Because the prior study focused on the bottom boundary layer and not the water column, a reanalysis of the datasets could increase our understanding of the dynamic forces that drive transport within and through the inlet. However, the early datasets are limited in scope and a comprehensive understanding of these transport processes may require more extensive datasets or the development of a detailed numerical model of transport processes for the inlet, or both.
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USGS Numbered Series
Circulation exchange patterns in Sinclair Inlet, Washington