Sea level is not the same in all places – but what if the places are only 10 feet apart?

I’m at Deception Pass, at the north end of Whidbey Island. In the middle of the pass is a small island, and at the eastern tip of that island is a point where the water level falls away into a hole. I just don’t get what’s going on here and I haven’t been able to find any information.

I can accept that sea level is not the same in all places – tides, the moon’s gravitational pull, continents in the way, these sorts of things can cause differing sea levels – but this difference within such a small distance boggles my mind. I need some oceanographer, geologist or alchemist to explain what I’m seeing.

First attempt at posting video, which I don’t even try to shoot very often, so please forgive the quality. I’m also not used to speaking instead of writing so I stumble all over my words. But enough disclaimers. I just thought I’d put this up and see if someone knowledgeable can give me an explanation.


Ranger Rick Blank of Deception Pass State Park gave me his idea of what’s going on: the channel in the Pass being so narrow all the water trying to get through stacks up behind Pass Island. I can see that, the island acts like a half open lock gate. I’m not sure that accounts for this hole though. Underwater channel or canyon, reef at the east end of the island? Or am I all amazed over something perfectly normal and trivial?

Whatever the case, this guy knows what to do with the situation.


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