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

Research - Evaluating the sediment storage and mobility in the estuary/bay/lagoon environment

Singlebeam schematic
Example of the activities utilized to evaluate sediment storage in the open water estuarine system, initially bathymetry and subbottom profiling surveys are conducted to evaluate sediment sinks within the estuary that are then followed by targeted coring and subsequent analyses of core material.  Photos courtesy of Christopher G. Smith.

The focus of this task is to examine the role that marsh and shoreline erosion contribute to the sediment budgets of the adjacent open-water estuarine system. Sediments derived from marsh shoreline erosion generally have higher organic matter content than sediments derived from the erosion of barrier islands or delivered by rivers. Understanding the sediment budget in these estuarine environments provides a comprehensive perspective of what factors drive the estuary health and integrity.

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