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Sea-level and Storm Impacts on Estuarine Environments and Shorelines (SSIEES)

Project Overview

Conceptual model representing daily marsh processess.
Idealized exchange processes between the estuarine wetland and the estuary-proper, where both inorganic and organic sediment are exchanged. The magnitude and frequency of this exchange various from stationary, tidal frequencies to non-stationary, random occurrences associated with storms. Overprinted are the effects of continual change in relative sea-level. Photo courtesy of Miriam Jones.

A coastal system is an integrated and complex set of environments inter-related and inter-connected through physical and ecological processes and associated feedbacks. The Sea-level and Storms Impacts on Estuarine Environments and Shorelines (SSIEES) Project investigates the role extreme events (hurricanes, floods, and strong frontal systems) and sea-level change have on material exchange between marshes and adjacent estuarine water bodies along the northern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast including Grand Bay Alabama/Mississippi, Vermilion Bay, Louisiana, and Chincoteague Bay, Virginia/Maryland.

Project Goals

Project Objectives

Approach

The SSIEES Project will evaluate wetland-estuarine material exchange using the following project structure, which can be readily linked back to the prior stated objectives:

Task 1. Evaluate the sediment storage and mobility in the estuary/bay/lagoon environment.
Task 2. Assess and quantify dominant physical depositional and erosive processes in estuarine-shoreline environments.
Task 3. Conduct a chronological geospatial assessment and quantification of episodic impacts in wetland environments.

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