Embayments

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Embayments

884 protected lagoons, embayments, estuaries and inlets were historically mapped in Puget Sound

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Embayments are "protected estuaries and lagoons within which there is too little wave action to form beaches. The term pocket estuary has been widely used on Puget Sound to describe these features. Most of these small embayments are tidally influenced, but they also include isolated lagoons and wetlands. Estuaries are those with a significant input of freshwater – for example, from a surface stream, whereas lagoons have limited freshwater input. A large number of the estuaries and lagoons on Puget Sound are formed and enclosed by barrier beaches, emphasizing an important geomorphological relationship between the wave-dominated beach environments and these small protected estuarine environments." (From Shipman 2008)

Cereghino et al 2012 proposes two classes of embayment site for the purpose of conservation planning:

  • Coastal Inlets - these embayments are formed in drowned stream valleys or other post glacial landforms, such that their protected shallow structures are not dependant on beach dynamics for their existance. An estimated 260 such site were identified in Puget Sound.
  • Barrier-type Embayments - these embayments are embedded in a beach systems, in that they are to some extent dependant of a barrier beacha beach formed in the absence of a eroding bluff through transport for wave protetion and wetland development. In these systems the embayments are integral to the beach drift cell -- 518 of 812 shoreline process units in Puget Sound contain one or more barrier-type embayments.

While this is a useful differentiation, many embayments commonly have attributes of both coastal inlets and barrier-type embayments. Both Shipman 2008 and McBride et al 2009 have proposed slightly different taxonomies to describe variation in Puget Sound coastal embayments.

Embayment Topics

The following topics are related to embayments:

Embayment Sites and Places

The following sites are in embayments:

Embayment Efforts

The following efforts are being implemented by workgroups in embayments:

Embayment Documents

The following pages cite documents about embayments:


The following embayment documents are uploaded to this wiki: