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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Deep water exchange in Bute Inlet, British Columbia Lafond, Claude

Abstract

Bute Inlet is a silled embayment of the British Columbia mainland coast connected to the Strait of Georgia through Sutil Channel. The properties of the waters in the inlet have been observed during a series of cruises from June 1972 to June 1974 with the main objective of determining the water circulation below the upper layer. The time-series of salinity, temperature and dissolved oxygen distributions obtained from this two-year survey are presented and used to analyse the circulation pattern and renewal mechanism of the intermediate and deep inlet waters. Inflows of deep water from the Strait of Georgia into Bute Inlet occurred frequently during the study period and took place when the water from the Strait of Georgia appearing above the sill was denser than the water in the basin of the inlet. Volumes of inflows into Bute Inlet have been estimated and some calculations indicate that inflow speeds could be large enough to be recorded by existing current meters. The renewal of the deep water in Bute Inlet basin appears to be basically consistent with the annual cycle of deep water replacement in the Strait of Georgia and with its year to year variations.

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