By Ariel Rubissow Okamoto, Kathleen M. Wong
This whole primer on San Francisco Bay is a multifaceted exploration of a unprecedented, and remarkably resilient, physique of water. Bustling with oil tankers, laced with pollution, and crowded with forty-six towns, the bay continues to be domestic to fit eelgrass beds, younger Dungeness crabs and sharks, and hundreds of thousands of waterbirds. Written in an enjoyable sort for a large viewers, Natural historical past of San Francisco Bay delves into an array of themes together with fish and natural world, ocean and weather cycles, endangered and invasive species, and the trail from industrialization to environmental recovery. greater than sixty scientists, activists, and source managers proportion their perspectives and describe their work—tracing mercury during the aquatic surroundings, discovering how you can convert salt ponds again to tidal wetlands, looking ahead to the repercussions of weather swap, and extra. absolutely illustrated and full of tales, charges, and evidence, the consultant additionally tells how San Francisco Bay sparked an environmental stream that now reaches around the kingdom.
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Extra resources for Natural History of San Francisco Bay (California Natural History Guides, Volume 102)
The data produced go straight into a computer and don’t get checked until months later, when the surveyors are more likely back in the lab than on the boat. As such, historic bathymetric maps can be more accurate than modern ones. Fresh and Salt Mix Beneath the surface, the bay today is a blend of unusual topography and marine and riverine waters. But its most defining feature is that it is an estuary. The most telltale sign of the presence of estuarine conditions is the change in salinity as the water flows from inland out to the ocean.
The water is about 30 ppt—nearly as salty as straight seawater—beneath the Golden Gate. In other words, the salinity is greatest near the ocean and smallest near the rivers. The rivers—two large ones and nearly a dozen tributaries—deliver most of the fresh water in the estuary. These rivers, in turn, gather their water from the runoff of rain and the melting of snow into creeks, streams, drains, and culverts from a watershed that encompasses 40 percent of the state of California. Nearly half the land area of the state drains into San Francisco Bay.
29 ANATOMY OF A WATERSHED The land that makes up the drainage area of the bay, each of its rivers, and every creek, is a watershed. To visualize a watershed, place a piece of paper in your palm and crumple it loosely. Then imagine rain falling into the loose bowl of paper you’ve created, and collecting at the lowest point in your palm. The paper bowl is like a watershed. Place several such bowls side by side, and their edges represent the ridgelines and hills dividing one watershed from another.