Cook Inlet Circulation Studies

Project Description

Cook Inlet includes Kachemak Bay, a highly productive, tidally-influenced estuary linked to the Gulf of Alaska. In 1999, the bay was designated as a National Estuarine Research Reserve, creating the foundation for long-term research and monitoring to better understand the area's natural resources. Extending four miles into the bay, the Homer Spit divides Kachemak Bay into inner and outer bays and creates a narrow passageway along the southern shore for water exchange between the two parts of the bay. To understand the circulation of this region including the potential for larval transport, we deployed 26 drifters to follow the surface and deep circulation.

Project Funding

Coastal Community Impact Assessment Program
Amount: $198,000
Start Date: 2012-06-00
End Date: 2015-09-00



Research Team

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson

Principal Investigator



  • Decadal climate variability of the Arctic system
  • Trends and variability in Arctic sea-ice concentration and thickness
  • Analysis of model results and observed data to validate and improve model performance

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