Author : Michael R. Landry and Barbara M. Hickey (Eds.)
Description:The Washington-Oregon coastal zone is a classical Eastern Boundary Current region. The area is extremely productive, the productivity dependent on near-shore infusions of nutrients into surface layers during wind-driven coastal upwelling. The Washington-Oregon coastline is much more regular than areas off California or off the East Coast, where large capes lend complexity to both the physical environment and the ecosystem response. The relatively straight coastline and broad, deep shelf greatly simplify the physical environment, so that processes responsible for much of the variance are more easily identified. The system response from mid-Oregon northward, although not strictly two-dimensional, is more so than many other coastal areas. Consequently, the system is amenable to the testing of relatively simple models integrating wind forcing with physical, chemical and biological responses in the upper water column.