WEBINAR: Bay-Delta Hydrology 101

Presentation by Dr. Ted Sommer, Lead Scientist at the Department of Water Resources, for the 2021 Bay-Delta Science Conference.

Dr. Ted Sommer’s recommended reading list


Ariyama, J., Boisramé, G. F, & Brand, M. R. (2019). Water Budgets for the Delta Watershed: Putting Together the Many Disparate Pieces. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 17(2). Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/7z21c397

Atwater, B. F., S.G. Conard, J. N. Dowden, C.W. Hedel, R.L. MacDonald, and W. Savage. 1979.  History, landforms and vegetation of the estuary’s tidal marshes.  Pages 347-385 in T.J. Conomos, ed. San Francisco Bay: the ecosystem. Pacific Division of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, San Francisco, CA.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/286937972_History_landforms_and_vegetation_of_the_estuary%27s_tidal_marshes

Brown, Larry R. and Marissa L. Bauer. 2009. Effects of hydrologic infrastructure on flow regimes of California’s Central Valley rivers: Implications for fish populations. River Research and Applications, online edition.  Abstract access: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/122508164/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

Fox, P., P.H. Hutton, D.J. Howes, A.J. Draper, and L. Sears. 2015. Reconstructing the Natural Hydrology of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Watershed. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 4257-4274.  https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix/exhibits/docs/petitioners_exhibit/dwr/part2/DWR-1153.pdf

FWS. 2008. OCAP Biological Opinion for Delta Smelt.  https://www.fws.gov/sfbaydelta/CVP-SWP/index.htm

Kelley, R. L. 1989.  Battling the inland sea: Floods, public policy, and the Sacramento Valley, 1985-1986.  University of California Press, California.  395 pp.  https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520214286/battling-the-inland-sea

Kimmerer, W. J. 2002a. Physical, biological, and management responses to variable freshwater flow into the San Francisco Estuary. Estuaries 25: 1275-1290. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02692224

Mount. J. F.  California’s rivers and streams: the conflict between fluvial process and land use.  University of California Press, Berkeley CA.  359 pp.  https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520202504/california-rivers-and-streams

Nichols, F. H., J. E. Cloern, S. N. Luoma, and D. H. Peterson. 1986.  The modification of an estuary. Science 231:567-573.  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6089352_The_Modification_of_an_Estuary

Reis, G. J, Howard, J. K, & Rosenfield, J. A. (2019). Clarifying Effects of Environmental Protections on Freshwater Flows to—and Water Exports from—the San Francisco Bay Estuary. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 17(1). Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/8mh3r97j

Whipple AA, Grossinger RM, Rankin D, Stanford B, Askevold RA. 2012. Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Historical Ecology Investigation: Exploring Pattern and Process. A Report of SFEI-ASC’s Historical Ecology Program, Publication #672, San Francisco Estuary Institute-Aquatic Science Center, Richmond, CA. http://www.sfei.org/DeltaHEStudy

San Francisco Estuary Institute.  2014.  A Delta Transformed.  http://ebooks.sfei.org/DeltaLandscapes/#page/11

Salinities & X2

Feyrer, F., M. Nobriga, and T. Sommer. 2007. Multi-decadal trends for three declining fish species: habitat patterns and mechanisms in the San Francisco Estuary, California, U.S.A. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 64:723-734  Abstract access: http://rparticle.web-p.cisti.nrc.ca/rparticle/AbstractTemplateServlet?calyLang=eng&journal=cjfas&volume=64&year=0&issue=4&msno=f07-048

Gross, E. S, Hutton, P. H, & Draper, A. J. (2018). A Comparison of Outflow and Salt Intrusion in the Pre‑Development and Contemporary San Francisco Estuary. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 16(3). Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/78m2c73z

Hutton, P. H, & Roy, S. B. (2019). Characterizing Early 20th Century Outflow and Salinity Intrusion in the San Francisco Estuary. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 17(2). Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/5jn0f55k

Jassby AD, Kimmerer WJ, Monismith SG, Armor C, Cloern JE, Powell TM, Schubel JR, Vendlinski TJ. 1995. Isohaline position as a habitat indicator for estuarine populations. Ecol Appl 5(1):272–289.  https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/deltaflow/docs/exhibits/swrcb/swrcb_jassby1995.pdf

Kimmerer, W. J, MacWilliams, M. L, & Gross, E. S. (2013). Variation of Fish Habitat and Extent of the Low-Salinity Zone with Freshwater Flow in the San Francisco Estuary. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 11(4). Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/3pz7x1x8


Sommer, T., W.C. Harrell, and T. R. Swift. 2008. Extreme hydrologic banding in a large-river Floodplain, California, U.S.A. Hydrobiologia 598:409-415.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10750-007-9159-1

Sommer, T.R., W.C. Harrell, A. Mueller-Solger, B. Tom, and W. Kimmerer. 2004. Effects of flow variation on channel and floodplain biota and habitats of the Sacramento River, California, USA. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 14:247-261. https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/california_waterfix/exhibits/docs/COSJ%20et%20al/part2sur_rebuttal/SJC_511.pdf

Sommer, T., B. Harrell, M. Nobriga, R. Brown, P. Moyle, W. Kimmerer, and L. Schemel. 2001. California’s Yolo Bypass: evidence that flood control can be compatible with fisheries, wetlands, wildlife, and agriculture. Fisheries 26:6-16.https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/70175036


Schoelhamer, D.H. and J.R. Burau.  Summary of findings about circulation and the estuarine turbidity maximum in Suisun Bay, CA.USGS Fact Sheet FS-047-98. https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/1998/0047/report.pdf

Diversions & Effects

Grimaldo LF, Sommer T, Ark NV, Jones G, Holland E, Moyle PB, Herbold B, Smith P. 2009. Factors affecting fish entrainment into massive water diversions in a tidal freshwater estuary: can fish losses be managed? N Am J Fish Management 29(5):1253–1270.  https://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterrights/water_issues/programs/bay_delta/docs/cmnt081712/srcsd/grimaldo2009.pdf

Herren, J. R. and S. S. Kawasaki. 2001. Inventory of water diversions in four geographic areas in California’s central valley. California Department of Fish and Game Fish Bulletin 179:343-355. https://qhj126.p3cdn2.secureserver.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/InvOfWaterDiversionsInFourGeographicAreas.pdf

Kimmerer, Wim J. and Matthew L. Nobriga. 2008. Investigating Particle Transport and Fate in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Using a Particle Tracking Model. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science. Vol. 6, Issue 1 (February), Article 4.  Full article access: http://repositories.cdlib.org/jmie/sfews/vol6/iss1/art4

Kimmerer, Wim J. 2008. Losses of Sacramento River Chinook Salmon and Delta Smelt to Entrainment in Water Diversions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science. Vol. 6, Issue 2 (June), Article 2.  Full article access: http://repositories.cdlib.org/jmie/sfews/vol6/iss2/art2

Monsen, N.E., J.E. Cloern, and J.R. Burau. 2007, Effects of flow diversions on water and habitat quality; examples from California’s highly manipulated Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science 5, Issue 3 (July 2007), Article 2. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/04822861


Kimmerer, W., Wilkerson, F., Downing, B., Dugdale, R., Gross, E. S, Kayfetz, K., et al. (2019). Effects of Drought and the Emergency Drought Barrier on the Ecosystem of the California Delta. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 17(3). Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/0b3731ph


Bever, A.J., M.L. MacWilliams, B. Herbold, L.R. Brown, and F.V. Feyrer. 2016. Linking hydrodynamic complexity to Delta Smelt (Hypomesus transpacificus) distribution in the San Francisco Estuary, USA. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science 14(1). Available at: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/2x91q0fr

Gross, E. S, MacWilliams, M. L, & Kimmerer, W. J. (2009). Three-dimensional Modeling of Tidal Hydrodynamics in the San Francisco Estuary. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 7(2). Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/9rv243mg

Kimmerer, Wim J.; MacWilliams, Michael L.; & Gross, Edward S.(2013). Variation of Fish Habitat and Extent of the Low-Salinity Zone with Freshwater Flow in the San Francisco Estuary. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 11(4). jmie_sfews_13887. Retrieved from: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/3pz7x1x8

MacWilliams, M. L, Ateljevich, E. S, Monismith, S. G, & Enright, C. (2016). An Overview of Multi-Dimensional Models of the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 14(4). Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/31r7x1js

MacWilliams, M., Bever, A. J, & Foresman, E. (2016). 3-D Simulations of the San Francisco Estuary with Subgrid Bathymetry to Explore Long-Term Trends in Salinity Distribution and Fish Abundance. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science, 14(2). Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/5qj0k0m6

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