Collection, Analysis, and Age-Dating of Sediment Cores from Salt Marshes on the South Shore of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, From 2013 Through 2014

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Description The accretion history of fringing microtidal salt marshes located on the south shore of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, was reconstructed from sediment cores collected in low and high marsh vegetation zones. The location of these marshes within protected embayments and the absence of large rivers on Cape Cod result in minimal sediment supply and a dominance of organic matter contribution to sediment peat. Age models based on 210-lead and 137-cesium were constructed to evaluate how vertical accretion and carbon burial rates have changed over the past century. The continuous rate of supply age model was used to age date 11 cores (10 low marsh and 1 high marsh) across four salt marshes. Both vertical accretion rates and carbon burial increased from 1900 to the years of collection, 2013 and 2014. Elevation of the marsh surface was measured to evaluate where the marsh falls within the current tidal frame. The historic marsh surface elevation was then reconstructed from the calculated age of each depth interval and its elevation, assuming that elevations within this shallow zone (less than 30 centimeters) have been preserved for the past century. [More]
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