Biomass production is positively correlated with mean tidal range in salt marshes along the Atlantic coast of the United States of America. Recent studies support the idea that enhanced stability of the marshes can be attributed to increased vegetative growth due to increased tidal range. This dataset displays the spatial variation of mean tidal range (i.e. Mean Range of Tides, MN) in the Assateague Island National Seashore and Chincoteague Bay based on conceptual marsh units defined by Defne and Ganju (2018). MN was based on the calculated difference in height between mean high water (MHW) and mean low water (MLW) using the VDatum (v3.5) database ( http://vdatum.noaa.gov/
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. Mean elevation of marsh units is planned to be an underlying parameter in the synthesis of these factors.
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
The purpose of this shapefile is to calculate mean tidal range in each marsh unit. Analysis of mean tidal range is part of a comprehensive assessment to identify the factors and their weights in determining the vulnerability and resiliency of salt marshes.