Sampling Locations for the Water Quality of San Francisco Bay Project

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Since 1969, the Water Quality of San Francisco Bay Research and Monitoring Project has conducted water-column sampling along the deep channel of the San Francisco Bay-Delta system. Learn more about when and where we collect data.

When and Where We Collect Measurements

This long-term research and observation project collects measurements along the deep channel longitudinal axis of the San Francisco Bay-Delta system sampling the full salinity gradient. Access the full dataset on our Data Query for the Water Quality of San Francisco Bay Project Page. Sampling began on the R/V Polaris and since 2016, continues on the R/V David H. Peterson, named for a late founder of the project. Currently we conduct vertical water column sampling at 37 fixed locations spaced 3-6 kilometers apart. Coordinates for current and historical stations are listed in the tables below.

The San Francisco Bay is comprised of different regions:

  • South Bay (stations 21–36): a marine lagoon surrounded by densely populated urban landscape. Includes a sub-region of Lower South Bay (stations 33-36).
  • Central Bay (stations 16-22): a deep basin connected to the coastal Pacific Ocean. It bridges the South and North Bays.
  • North Bay (stations 657-15): the estuary of California’s two largest rivers, the Sacramento and San Joaquin. It is comprised of San Pablo Bay, Suisun Bay, and the river stations.

As the goals of this research project evolve over time, the sampling frequency and spatial coverage have changed. Since 1993 we have conducted monthly cruises along the entire Bay-Delta system as part of the Regional Monitoring Program for Water Quality in San Francisco Bay. Additional cruises in the South and Central Bay are conducted during spring and when rapid water quality changes associated with phytoplankton blooms are predicted.  Learn more about what we sample in San Francisco Bay. 

See the map and tables below for more detailed information about the sampling locations.

Map showing current San Francisco Bay-Delta water quality sampling station locations.

Current San Francisco Bay-Delta water quality sampling stations.  Click on photo for a larger version.

 

Current Station Table

Station geographic locations, beginning with riverine end of cruise track.

Station Location Latitude (degrees) Longitude (degrees)
657 Rio Vista 38.151667 -121.688333
649 Sacramento River 38.06 -121.8
2 Chain Island 38.063333 -121.851667
3 Pittsburg 38.051667 -121.88
4 Simmons Point 38.048333 -121.935
5 Middle Ground 38.06 -121.98
6 Roe Island 38.065 -122.035
7 Avon Pier 38.048333 -122.096667
8 Martinez 38.03 -122.151667
9 Benicia 38.056667 -122.185
10 Crockett 38.06 -122.208333
11 Mare Island 38.06 -122.266667
12 Pinole Shoal 38.051667 -122.311667
13 North of Pinole Point 38.028333 -122.37
14 Echo Buoy 38.006667 -122.405
15 Point San Pablo 37.973333 -122.436667
16 Charlie Buoy 37.916667 -122.446667
17 Raccoon Strait 37.878333 -122.421667
18 Point Blunt 37.846667 -122.421667
20 Blossom Rock 37.82 -122.393333
21 Bay Bridge 37.788333 -122.358333
22 Potrero Point 37.765 -122.358333
23 Hunters Point 37.728333 -122.336667
24 Candlestick Point 37.698333 -122.338333
25 Oyster Point 37.67 -122.325
26 San Bruno Shoal 37.636667 -122.313333
27 San Francisco Airport 37.618333 -122.291667
28 North of San Mateo Bridge 37.601667 -122.27
29 South of San Mateo Bridge 37.58 -122.245
29.5 Steinberger Slough 37.568333 -122.21833
30 Redwood Creek 37.555 -122.19
31 Coyote Hills 37.528333 -122.158333
32 Ravenswood Point 37.518333 -122.133333
33 Dumbarton Bridge 37.508333 -122.121667
34* Newark Slough 37.495 -122.098333
35 Mowry Slough 37.48 -122.078333
36 Calaveras Point 37.471667 -122.066667

* Sampling at this location for Station 34 began on 2/2/2016; for 1969 through 1/21/2016, the longitude degree was -122.093333.

 

Historic Station Table

Historic and non-standard stations geographic locations, temporal sampling range (first and last year data were collected), and mean low water depth.  

Station Geographic Location Latitude (degrees) Longitude (degrees) Temporal Range Mean Low Water Depth (meters)
1 Winters Island 38.04 -121.84 1969-1978 6.5
12.5 Pinole Point 38.04 -122.315 1993-2001 6.7
19 Golden Gate 37.818333 -122.471667 1969-1985 91
24.5 South Bay 37.685075 -122.333328 1984 20
25.5 South Bay 37.6544 -122.319169 1984 13.2
26.5 South Bay 37.626324 -122.302245 1982-1984 8.7
27.5 South Bay 37.60956 -122.281678 1983 9
28.5 Geo Probe 37.596667 -122.235 1991-1995 15.7
30.5 South Bay 37.542166 -122.177256 1984 18
31.5 South Bay 37.522796 -122.145833 1982 12
33.5 South Bay 37.500692 -122.112337 1985 13
405 Reserve Fleet 2 38.048333 -122.123333 1999-2002 12.7
407 Reserve Fleet 4 38.071667 -122.093333 1999-2002 9.6
411 Garnet Sill 38.096667 -122.058333 1999-2002 7.3
650 Sacramento River 38.071667 -121.775 1984-1988 10
651 Sacramento River 38.078333 -121.763333 1980-1999 10
652 Towlands Landing 38.086667 -121.746667 1977-1984 7
653 Mid-Decker Island 38.105 -121.72 1984-2015 10.1
654 Sacramento River 38.105 -121.708333 1984 10
655 North of Three Mile Slough 38.121667 -121.701667 1980-1988 10.1
659 Old Sacramento River 38.178333 -121.666667 1977 10.1
662 Prospect Island 38.226667 -121.673333 1977 10.1

NOTE: From Aug 1999 through Jan 2002, Suisun Bay stations 405, 407 and 411 were sampled instead of standard channel stations 5, 6, and 7.