Puget Sound

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Puget Sound (pronounced /ˈpjuːdʒɪt/) is a sound in the U.S. state of Washington. It is a complex estuarine system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and one minor connection to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific OceanAdmiralty Inlet being the major connection and Deception Pass being the minor. Flow through Deception Pass accounts for about 2% of the total tidal exchange between Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.[1] Puget Sound extends approximately 100 miles (160 km) from Deception Pass in the north to Olympia, Washington in the south. Its average depth is 205 feet (62 m) and its maximum depth, off Point Jefferson between Indianola and Kingston, is 930 feet (280 m).[1]

The term "Puget Sound" is used not just for the body of water but also the general region centered on the sound, including the Seattle metropolitan area, home to about 4.4 million people.


Name and definition

There are various definitions of the extent and boundaries of Puget Sound.

In 1792 George Vancouver gave the name "Puget's Sound" to the waters south of the Tacoma Narrows, in honor of Peter Puget, a lieutenant accompanying him on the Vancouver Expedition. The name later came to be used for the waters north of Tacoma Narrows as well.[2]

The USGS defines Puget Sound as all the waters south of three entrances — the main entrance at Admiralty Inlet being a line between Point Wilson, on the Olympic Peninsula, and Point Partridge, on Whidbey Island; a second entrance at Deception Pass being a line from West Point, on Whidbey Island, to Deception Island and Rosario Head, on Fidalgo Island; and a third entrance at the south end of the Swinomish Channel, which connects Skagit Bay and Padilla Bay.[3] Under this definition, Puget Sound includes the waters of Hood Canal, Admiralty Inlet, Possession Sound, Saratoga Passage, and others. It does not include Bellingham Bay, Padilla Bay, the waters of the San Juan Islands or anything farther north.

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