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Water-surface elevations for the high tide of December 15, 1977, in the Puget Sound region, Washington

January 1, 1994

An unusually high oceanic tide on December 15, 1977, caused flooding of lowlying, nearshore parts of western Washington, including several areas in the Puget Sound region. At Seattle, the December 15 high tide of 14.8 feet above MLLW (mean lower low water datum; 8.55 feet above the National Geodetic Vertical Daltum of 1929, or NGVD) was 0.1 foot higher than the 100-year high tide. At Neah Bay, near the western end of the Straits of Juan de Fuca, however, the high tide of 8.77 feet MLLW (4.55 feet NGVD) on that date was 3.2 feet lower than the 100-year high tide. This study has identified the observed December 15 high-tide elevations at many locations in the Puget Sound region. The observed high tide then was much higher than predicted in most of the Puget Sound region, primarily as the result of a very low barametric pressure. Little damage from wind waves was reported. Elevation profiles for the predicted and observed high tides on December 15 and for several other selected tide levels indicate an increase in the maximum height in the inland direction, except near Port Angeles, and show abrupt changes in tidal elevations at three constrictions - Admiralty Inlet, Tacoma Narrows, and Deception Pass. (USGS)

Citation Information

Publication Year 1985
Title Water-surface elevations for the high tide of December 15, 1977, in the Puget Sound region, Washington
DOI 10.3133/wri844293
Authors L. M. Nelson
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series Number 84-4293
Index ID wri844293
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization