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Jervis Inlet

Physical Description

Length: 89 km
Maximum Depth: 670 m
Major Basins: Several, one main outer and one inner but 2 other smaller and inner basins with deep sills Princess Louisa Inlet is a shallow silled small inlet off the northern end of Jervis
Sill Depth: outer basin:  240 m  - located at mouth of inlet
inner basin: 219 m - located near Patrick Point
Princess Louisa Inlet: 6 m

Map and Section


As there were no gauged rivers in the Jervis Inlet watershed, Trites (1955) estimated the freshwater discharge using  the area of the watershed (~1400 km2) and local precipitation data.   The estimated mean annual discharge of 180 m3 s-1 is considerably smaller than the discharge in most of the longer BC inlets.  Unlike many of the BC inlets where the main river enters at the head, there are many small rivers and streams distributed along the shores of Jervis Inlet.  The runoff cycle for Jervis Inlet more closely follows the local precipitation cycle as the area of snow fields which store winter precipitation is relatively small (Macdonald and Murray 1973).

Deep Water Renewal Process

The outer and the largest basin in Jervis Inlet has a relatively deep sill at 240 m located at the mouth of the inlet where it connects with the Strait of Georgia.  The deep waters of the inlet are renewed during the 3rd and 4th quarter of  the year. The timing of the deep water renewal in the inlet is consistent with the summertime renewal of the deep waters of the Strait of Georgia (Thomson 1994).  Dissolved oxygen concentrations provide a good  indicator of the extent of the renewal with large increases in the dissolved oxygen corresponding to large influxes of the denser water from the strait.   Deep water renewal occurs annually, but in some years no increase in dissolved oxygen is observed indicating that  volume of renewal water was so small that one may consider it to have been a non-renewal year.

Time Series of Deep Water Properties

  • The time series of deep water temperatures show an overall increase of about 0.5 C since the mid 70's
  • In the first half of the time series there is no apparent overall trend though there are decadal scale variations of about 0.5 C
  • Conspicuous features of the time series are the low temperature spikes is 1979 and again in 1985. The amplitude of the temperature spikes is about 0.5 to 0.7 C.

  • No trend apparent though variations in deep water salinities on 5 to 10 year time scales are evident.
  • Low salinity events are coincident with the cold events in 1979 and 1985.

Dissolved Oxygen
  • Dissolved oxygen varies over a relatively large range (1 to 4 ml/l) for deep waters.
  • Dissolved oxygen increases rapidly from low to higher values but declines more slowly after renewals.
  • Lower dissolved oxygen concentrations are apparent in late 90's than for most other years excepting 1959.