River Deltas

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River Delta

River delta sites occur at 16 locations where large river floodplains meet the sea

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Image showing the distribution of Puget Sound delta extent in relation to Chinook salmon anadromy
Deltas form where large rivers meet marine waters. These deltas, built of fluvial sedimentparticles of clay, silt, sand, gravel, or cobble, transported by water, are called sediment. deposited at the coastline, are often broad and low-lying, and represent the marine extension of alluvial floodplains. Many have been heavily modified for agricultural and urban uses. Deltas can be distinguished based on the relative influence of waves, tides and river processes in their formation. (from Shipman 2008).

Simenstad et al 2011 identifies 16 river deltas. Large coastal inlets wetlands associated with large watersheds (see Cereghino et al 2012) like Union, Tahuya or the Snow-Salmon, could be considered part of this population. PSNERP identifies recovery of lost delta tidal marsh and a primary target for restoration of Puget Sound nearshore ecosystems. A separate page describing Restoration of Puget Sound River Deltas provides an overview of goals, resources and efforts.


East Nooksack River Delta with glacial sediment

Developing marsh near Red Salmon Slough, Nisqually Delta

River Delta Core Topics

Topics Describing Critical Delta Dynamics High Uncertainty Topics for Adaptive Management
Delta hydrodynamics and channels
Delta sediment dynamics and vegetation
Delta biodiversity and food webs
Delta utilization by salmon
Delta social dynamics
Delta flood and drainage

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Restoration Efforts

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