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Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5152

A Pilot Study by the Effects of Urbanization Task of the U.S. Geological Survey Multi-Disciplinary Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound Project

Hydrography of and Biochemical Inputs to Liberty Bay, a Small Urban Embayment in Puget Sound, Washington

Edited by Renee K. Takesue

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (8.4 MB) Preface

This multi-chapter report describes scientific and logistic understanding gained from a 2 year proof-of-concept study in Liberty Bay, a small urban embayment in central Puget Sound, Washington. The introductory chapter describes the regional and local setting, the high‑level study goals, the site-specific urban stressors, and the interdisciplinary study approach. Subsequent data chapters describe detailed studies of various components of the Liberty Bay ecosystem: the aquatic environment (Chapter 2), surface and groundwater quantity and quality (Chapter 3), sediment quality (Chapter 4), eelgrass habitat (Chapter 5), carbon and nitrogen sources (Chapter 6), and a statistical model relating herring spawn probability to shoreline attributes (Chapter 7). The final chapter synthesizes knowledge about individual components into a system-wide understanding of how urbanization may affect the Liberty Bay ecosystem. The Liberty Bay study was conducted as part of the U.S. Geological Survey's Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound project, an interdisciplinary collaboration to understand physical and biological processes that affect nearshore ecosystems.

First posted September 27, 2011

For additional information contact:
Director, Washington Water Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
934 Broadway, Suite 300
Tacoma, Washington 98402

Part or all of this report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Takesue, Renee K., ed., 2011, Hydrography of and biogeochemical inputs to Liberty Bay, a small urban embayment in Puget Sound, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2011–5152, 98 p.


Chapter 1.—Overview of Effects of Urbanization on the Nearshore Ecosystem of Puget Sound, Washington. By Renee K. Takesue, Richard S. Dinicola, Jessica R. Lacy, Theresa L. Liedtke, Dennis W. Rondorf, Collin D. Smith, and Raymond D. Watts

Chapter 2.—Aquatic Environment: Circulation, Water-Quality, and Phytoplankton Concentration. By Jessica R. Lacy and Richard S. Dinicola

Chapter 3.—Select Inorganic and Organic Loadings to Nearshore Liberty Bay, Puget Sound, Washington. By Richard S. Dinicola, Peter W. Swarzenski, and Jennifer Dougherty

Chapter 4.—Liberty Bay Sediment and Contaminants. By Renee K. Takesue and Richard S. Dinicola

Chapter 5.—Eelgrass Habitat near Liberty Bay. By Renee K. Takesue

Chapter 6.—Stable Isotopes of Nitrogen and Carbon as Tools to Monitor Eutrophication and Trophic Dynamics. By Theresa L. Liedtke, Collin D. Smith, and Dennis W. Rondorf

Chapter 7.—Spatial Association of Herring Spawn and Shoreline Development in Liberty Bay and Port Orchard, Central Puget Sound, Washington. By Raymond D. Watts and Vivian Queija

Chapter 8.—Synthesis. By Renee K. Takesue, Richard S. Dinicola, Jessica R. Lacy, Theresa L. Liedtke, Dennis W. Rondorf, Collin D. Smith, and Raymond D. Watts

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