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Nearshore Processes - Stream Mouth
An estuary is formed by the mixing of freshwater from rivers and streams with saltwater from the ocean. Typically, these waters are semi-enclosed by land. Puget Sound is such an estuary. Fluvial energy from streams washes sediment and detritus (decaying organic matter) into the estuary. At the same time tidal energy and littoral drift bring in more sediment, detritus and plankton. The result is a habitat extremely rich in nutrients that provides the basis for the food chain.

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