Fjord estuaries are deep, cold bodies of water that form as glaciers retreated from a landscape. The steep cliffs of a glacier often allow only trickles of freshwater streams to enter them. The Puget Sound, in Washington state, is filled with fjord estuaries. Rivers and streams from the Cascade mountains meet an inlet of the Pacific Ocean in Puget Sound.

Photograph by Guadalupe Quintana, MyShot
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estuary
estuary Encyclopedic Entry

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An estuary is an area where a freshwater river or stream meets the ocean. When freshwater and seawater combine, the water becomes brackish, or slightly salty.