On a field trip with Northwest Indian College Geology class to Chuckanut Drive saw water with apparent difference in color.
Observation: On a field trip with Northwest Indian College Geology class to Chuckanut Drive we saw water with apparent difference in color.
Exploring the Cause: The influx of sediment in the Bellingham Bay comes from the Nooksack River delta, the level of sediment fluctuates with the amount of precipitation during a given season. The more precipitation the greater the output from the Nooksack river and more sediment is distributed into the bay.
Nooksack River Estuary Habitat Assessment – The Nooksack River delta is one of the fastest developing sedimentary features in the Puget Sound basin. This delta has pro-graded rapidly into Bellingham Bay during the historic period, creating a diverse and productive estuarine environment. In the earliest part of the historic record, the majority of Nooksack River discharge flowed into Lummi Bay to the north of the Lummi Peninsula, then an island. Maps of the estuary in the late 1880's show broad wetlands and marshes dissected by numerous tidal and distributary channels draining into Lummi Bay, and a relatively young delta forming in Bellingham Bay where the main channel and the majority of the river’s flows had recently been rerouted.
- Brown, M., Maudlin, M., & Hansen, J. (2005). Nooksack River Estuary Habitat Assessment, 215. http://doi.org/IAC# 04-1487N
- (1970, January 01). Retrieved March 01, 2017, from http://www.whatcomcd.org/area-weather-summary
Photo taken November 18, 2015 3:17pm by Sonni Tadlock
Photo taken November 28, 2016 1:40pm by Lisa Redsteer
Table 1. Annual precipitation for Lynden, WA by month with total annual rainfall and total storage period (Oct-Mar) values listed Provided by Whatcom Conservation District Area Weather Summary.