Koyuktolik Bay, Cook Inlet

Koyuktolik Bay, Cook Inlet

by | Jan 19, 2023

Koyuktolik Bay, also known as Dogfish or Dog Salmon Bay, is about 2 miles (3.2 km) wide and located near the entrance to Kachemak Bay on the southeastern shore of Cook Inlet at the southwest tip of the Kenai Peninsula, about 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Homer and 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Seldovia, Alaska. The name is from an Alutiiq village located here in the 19th century as reported by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1908. Prior to that, the Russians called the bay “Hiko-Bukta”.

The bay has a very large eelgrass bed and salt marsh protected by a gravel spit. An earthquake on March 27, 1964, shook the Kachemak Bay area for about 3 minutes resulting in mainland subsidence of 2 to 6 feet (0.6-1.8 m). The quake also caused differential compaction of unconsolidated gravel resulting in an additional elevation drop on beaches, river deltas, and spits. For example, the Homer Spit subsided about 6 feet (1.8 m) from gravel compaction, and a similar amount of subsidence likely occurred on the spit at Koyuktolik Bay.

Many spruce trees located on the spit and along the shoreline died following the land subsidence due to saltwater intrusion resulting in extensive ghost forests of standing dead trees. Spruce trees have since returned and grown on gravel storm berms above the influence of the tides. Read more here and here. Explore more of Koyuktolik Bay here:

About the background graphic

This ‘warming stripe’ graphic is a visual representation of the change in global temperature from 1850 (top) to 2022 (bottom). Each stripe represents the average global temperature for one year. The average temperature from 1971-2000 is set as the boundary between blue and red. The color scale goes from -0.7°C to +0.7°C. The data are from the UK Met Office HadCRUT4.6 dataset. 

Credit: Professor Ed Hawkins (University of Reading). Click here for more information about the #warmingstripes.

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