Puget Sound // is a sound in the U.S. state of Washington, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, and part of the Salish Sea. It is a complex estuarine system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and one minor connection to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the open Pacific Ocean — Admiralty Inlet being the major connection and Deception Pass being the minor. Flow through Deception Pass accounts for about 2% of the total tidal exchange between Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Puget Sound extends approximately 100 miles (160 km) from Deception Pass in the north to Olympia, Washington in the south. Its average depth is 205 feet (62 m) and its maximum depth, off Point Jefferson between Indianola and Kingston, is 930 feet (280 m). The depth of the main basin, between the southern tip of Whidbey Island and Tacoma, Washington, is approximately 600 feet (180 m).
The term "Puget Sound" is used not just for the body of water but also the Puget Sound region centered on the sound.
The Cascade Range (or Cascades) is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, and the notable volcanoes known as the High Cascades. The small part of the range in British Columbia is referred to as the Canadian Cascades or, locally, as the Cascade Mountains. The latter term is also sometimes used by Washington residents to refer to the Washington section of the Cascades in addition to North Cascades, the more usual U.S. term, as in North Cascades National Park.
The Cascades are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, the ring of volcanoes and associated mountains around the Pacific Ocean. All of the eruptions in the contiguous United States over the last 200 years have been from Cascade volcanoes. The two most recent were Lassen Peak from 1914 to 1921 and a major eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980. Minor eruptions of Mount St. Helens have also occurred since, most recently in 2005.
The Puget Sound region is an inland area of the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. state of Washington, including Puget Sound, the Puget Sound lowlands, and the surrounding region roughly west of the Cascade Range and east of the Olympic Mountains.
Besides humans, no other creature penetrates the Northwest so completely. The salmon is to the entire Northwest what the spotted owl was to old-growth forests, a telling indicator of ecological health. Due to many factors, Puget Sound salmon are in decline. Among the many factors is the drastic reduction in salt marshes over the past 125 years. These salt marshes are vital to the life cycle of salmon as they provide food and shelter for the young salmon. It is estimated that there is about a 73% decline in these salt marsh habitats within the Puget Sound region.]who?[ Almost all of the marshes in large urban areas have been lost (Dept. of Ecology). Local Chinook salmon also carry high polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) levels; some even carry higher levels than farmed salmon. Washington State health officials believe the heart health benefits of eating fish continue to out weigh the risks posed by the PCB (Seattle PI).
There are many different species of salmon that run through the Puget Sound. Such salmon species include Chum, Coho, Chinook, Sockeye, and Pink salmon. These salmon swim through the Puget Sound to spawn in the rivers running into the Puget Sound. Some Puget Sound rivers that salmon swim up are: Nooksack, Samish, Skagit, Baker, Cascade, Stillaguamish, Snohomish, Skykomish, Green, Puyallup, Carbon, Nisqually, and Deschutes rivers. Salmon also go up Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish, Kennedy Creek, and Minter Creek.
Physical geography (also known as geosystems or physiography) is one of the two major subfields of geography. Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the domain of human geography.
Within the body of physical geography, the Earth is often split either into several spheres or environments, the main spheres being the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and pedosphere. Research in physical geography is often interdisciplinary and uses the systems approach.
The United States is a country in the Northern Hemisphere, Western Hemisphere, and the Eastern Hemisphere. It consists of forty-eight contiguous states in North America, Alaska, a peninsula which forms the northwestern most part of North America, and Hawaii, an archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. There are several United States territories in the Pacific and Caribbean. The term "United States", when used in the geographical sense, means the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands of the United States. The country shares land borders with Canada and Mexico and maritime (water) borders with Russia, Cuba, and the Bahamas in addition to Canada and Mexico.