The Deschutes Estuary/Capitol Lake Project

Deschutes Estuary Feasibility Study: Hydrodynamics and Sediment Transport Modeling


This report was part of a multi-disciplinary project investigating the restoration of an estuary from its current artificial lake condition in Olympia, WA. The underlying goal was to understand the physical processes using a sophisticated numerical model. Parts of the results were used by biologists, engineers and economists to assess the overall impact of restoring the Deschutes Estuary. As the project scientist, I developed many modeling techniques, conducted the field collection and wrote the report.

The project, completed in 2008, broke new ground in numerical modeling techniques and remains one of Puget Sound’s most advanced investigations into restoring an estuary. Because of the depth of our work, other alternatives scrambled to catch up to be considered viable options. A second phase of the project also was funded to improve on the modeling, which led to a second report. I led the publication of a peer-review journal article in 2012.

Please click on the image to view the USGS publication or here for the Estuaries and Coasts article.