Hydrographie patterns and chlorophyll concentrations in the Columbia River estuary were compared for spring and summer periods during 2004 through 2006. Riverine and oceanic sources of chlorophyll were evaluated at stations along a 27-km along-estuary transect in relation to time series of wind stress, river flow, and tidal stage. Patterns of chlorophyll concentration varied between seasons and years. In spring, the chlorophyll distribution was dominated by high concentrations from freshwater sources. Periods of increased stream flow limited riverine chlorophyll production. In summer, conversely, upwelling winds induced input of high-salinity water from the ocean to the estuary, and this water was often associated with relatively high chlorophyll concentrations. The frequency, duration, and intensity of upwelling events varied both seasonally and interannually, and this variation affected the timing and magnitude of coastally derived material imported to the estuary. The main source of chlorophyll thus varied from riverine in spring to coastal in summer. In both spring and summer seasons and among years, modulation of the spring/neap tidal cycle determined stratification, patterns of mixing, and the fate of (especially freshwater) phytoplankton. Spring tides had higher mixing and neap tides greater stratification, which affected the vertical distribution of chlorophyll. The Columbia River differs from the more tidally dominated coastal estuaries in the Pacific Northwest by its large riverine phytoplankton production and transfer of this biogenic material to the estuary and coastal ocean. However, all Pacific Northwest coastal estuaries investigated to date have exhibited advection of coastally derived chlorophyll during the upwelling season. This constitutes a fundamental difference between Pacific Northwest estuaries and systems not bounded by a coastal upwelling zone.
Estuaries & Coasts is the journal of the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. Begun in 1977 as Chesapeake Science, the journal has gradually expanded its scope and circulation. Today, the journal publishes manuscripts covering aspects of research on physical, chemical, geological or biological systems, as well as management of those systems, at the interface between the land and the sea. The interface is broadly defined to include areas within estuaries, lagoons, wetlands, tidal rivers, watersheds that include estuaries, and near-shore coastal waters. The journal publishes original research findings, reviews, techniques, and comments.
The Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation is a private, nonprofit non partisan organization. The Federation was created in 1971, when the members of two older, regionally-based estuarine research societies (AERS and NEERS) decided that a national organization was needed to address estuarine and coastal issues more broadly. The regionally based Affiliate Societies now number seven and encompass all of the coastal regions that border the United States, Canada and Mexico.