Originator: Zafer Defne
Originator: Neil K. Ganju
Conceptual salt marsh units for wetland synthesis: Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, New Jersey
Geospatial_Data_Presentation_Form: Vector Digital Data Set (Polygon)
Series_Name: data release
Publication_Place: Reston, Virginia
Publisher: U.S. Geological Survey
The salt marsh complex of the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge (EBFNWR), which spans over Great Bay, Little Egg Harbor, and Barnegat Bay (New Jersey, USA), was delineated to smaller, conceptual marsh units by geoprocessing of surface elevation data. Flow accumulation based on the relative elevation of each location is used to determine the ridge lines that separate each marsh unit while the surface slope is used to automatically assign each unit a drainage point, where water is expected to drain through. Through scientific efforts associated with the Hurricane Sandy Science Plan, the U.S. Geological Survey has started to expand national assessment of coastal change hazards and forecast products to coastal wetlands. The intent is to provide federal, state, and local managers with tools to estimate their vulnerability and ecosystem service potential. For this purpose, the response and resilience of coastal wetlands to physical factors need to be assessed in terms of the ensuing change to their vulnerability and ecosystem services. EBFNWR was selected as a pilot study.
Recent research shows that sediment budgets of microtidal marsh complexes on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States consistently scale with areal unvegetated/vegetated marsh ratio (UVVR) despite differences in sea-level rise, tidal range, elevation, vegetation, and stressors. This highlights UVVR as a broadly applicable indicator of microtidal marsh stability. It is also relatively quicker and less labor intensive compared to quantifying integrative sediment budgets and the associated transport mechanisms that requires extended tidal-timescale observations of sediment transport. UVVR indicates the link between open-water conversion processes and sediment transport, providing consistent results across a geomorphic and climatic spectrum of microtidal marshes, hence can be an independent measure of marsh health. Potentially, tracking future changes to UVVR may allow for widespread mapping of spatially variable vulnerability across microtidal marshes worldwide.
These polygons were created to be used in evaluating the spatial variation of the response and resiliency of the salt marsh complex based on consistently defined marsh units while facilitating a better understanding of the relative importance of the processes involved. An unvegetated area to vegetated area ratio was defined as a potential indicator of health of a salt marsh unit.
The marsh unit polygons were derived by geoprocessing of the 1/3 arc second resolution USGS National Elevation Data (NED) with the publication date of 2011-2012. For more details see: Data Quality Information: Lineage: Source Information.
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: USGS Metadata Identifier
Theme_Keyword_Thesaurus: USGS Thesaurus
Theme_Keyword: wetland ecosystems
Theme_Keyword: wetland functions
Theme_Keyword: coastal ecosystems
Theme_Keyword: coastal processes
Theme_Keyword: salt marsh
Theme_Keyword: marsh health
Place_Keyword: Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge
Place_Keyword: United States
Place_Keyword: Great Bay
Place_Keyword: Barnegat Bay
Place_Keyword: Little Egg Island
Place_Keyword: New Jersey
These polygons are defined for scientific research purposes and should not be used as a sole source of reference for any regulations and policy making. Public domain data from the U.S. Government are freely redistributable with proper metadata and source attribution. Please recognize the U.S. Geological Survey as the source of this information.
Contact_Organization: U.S. Geological Survey
Contact_Position: Ocean Scientist
Contact_Person: Zafer Defne
Address_Type: mailing and physical address
Contact_Voice_Telephone: 508-457-8700 x2254
Address: 384 Woods Hole Road
City: Woods Hole
Graphic that shows conceptual marsh units of EBFNWR salt marsh complex overlaying Esri Shaded World Relief Map.
Environment as of Metadata Creation: Microsoft Windows 7 Version 6.1 (Build 7601) Service Pack 1; Esri ArcGIS 10.3.1 (Build 4959) Service Pack N/A (Build N/A)