Lifespan of marsh units in Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague Bay, Maryland and Virginia
The sediment-based lifespan of salt marsh units in Assateague Island National Seashore (ASIS) and Chincoteague Bay is shown for conceptual marsh units defined by Defne and Ganju (2018). The lifespan represents the timescale by which the current sediment mass within a marsh parcel can no longer compensate for sediment export and deficits induced by sea-level rise. The lifespan calculation is based on vegetated cover, marsh elevation, sediment supply, and sea-level rise (SLR) predictions after Ganju and others (2020). Sea level rise scenarios are present day estimates corresponding to the 0.3, 0.5, and 1.0 meter increase in Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) by 2100 from Sweet and others (2017). Through scientific efforts initiated with the Hurricane Sandy Science Plan, the U.S. Geological Survey has been expanding national assessment of coastal change hazards and forecast products to coastal wetlands, including the Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague Bay salt marshes, with the intent of providing Federal, State, and local managers with tools to estimate the vulnerability and ecosystem service potential of these wetlands. 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.
Defne, Z., and Ganju, N.K., 2018, Conceptual marsh units for Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague Bay, Maryland and Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/P92ZW4D9
Ganju, N.K., Defne, Z., Fagherazzi, S., 2020, Are elevation and open-water conversion of salt marshes connected?, Geophysical Research Letters, https://doi.org/10.1029/2019GL086703
Sweet, W.V., Kopp, R.E., Weaver, C.P., Obeysekera, J., Horton, R.M., Thieler, E.R., and Zervas, C., 2017, Global and regional sea level rise scenarios for the United States (Tech. Rep. NOS CO-OPS 083). Silver Spring, MD: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. https://doi.org/10.7289/v5/tr-nos-coops-083