Gulf of Mexico / Southeast Tidal WetlandsProject Leader:
600 Fourth Street South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701-4846
Phone: (727) 803-8747 ext. 3039
Fax: (727) 803-2032
The IssueThe project is investigating the loss of coastal wetlands and adjacent uplands in order to determine long-term change in wetlands and to provide a model for determining areas that are most vulnerable to loss because of combinations of human and natural impacts. The project will investigate critical wetlands along the Gulf of Mexico and southeastern U.S. coast cooperatively with USGS BRD, NOAA, FWS, and state agencies. The investigation is determining change over historical time at these regions, identifying the significance of change over the past 20 years when detailed satellite imagery is available, and match these changes to known factors such as sea level change, sedimentation, and human impacts. A landscape evolution model will be applied to evaluate existing studies and understanding of critical processes for assessing change and vulnerability of coastal environments with development and projected rises in sea level.
We have considerable concern about the potential loss of wetlands in Florida in the future, when minor retreat has occurred over the last century.
How the USGS is addressing this issueThis project has the following goals:
New Directions, Expansion of Continuing Project:
A side component may develop into a significant program: our processing of imagery, which includes the Suwannee River delta, has led to considerable interest on the part of WRD, University of Florida, and others. We have seen changes that may reflect the role of discharge in influencing vegetative health in the delta. The Suwannee has also received increasing attention because the possibility of water diversion for south Florida and because of deteriorating water quality along the coast, where a significant shellfish aquaculture program is developing.
We expect to expand the work in the Suwannee Delta, to support local management and leverage to obtain OFA funds.
We have begun examining the modeling capabilities for determining sea level change. Determination of the rate of loss of both uplands and wetlands is critical to understanding the implications of sea level rise. Accretion models for tidal wetlands have been developed, however these models have not yet entered the geographical predictions of land loss.
Accomplishments to DateWe have mapped imagery for South Carolina and for Florida for a 10-year period. Sedimentation- erosion table (SET) sites have been set up along the coast. Cores have been taken for dating and environmental change interpretation. We have evidence that in Florida, the 20-30 cm rise in sea level over the last 130 years has caused tidal wetlands to have increased in area at the expense of upland regions.
To date we have developed a map of land cover in 1986 and 1995 consistent with the NOAA C-CAP (Coastal Change Analysis Program). Arranging logistics with NOAA for confirmation has been a problem, but should be completed this year for a joint CD. Several proceedings papers, an OFR, and two journal articles have resulted.
We have obtained initial results of a lidar terrain mapping flight. The results indicate that in some areas of the marsh we can determine DEMs. The lidar also provide fine details of drainage and may provide a powerful tool for mapping aerial photography. We will evaluate the utility of lidar in determining subtle elevation differences in vegetated areas.
Provided mapped and classified satellite imagery (two scenes covering ~35,000 square km) to the Biological Research Division, Gainesville, FL, for their mapping program in the Florida Biological Diversity project as part of the National Gap Analysis Program (March 1997).
The Tampa Tribune, 19 May 1997, ran a front-page article on the dieoff of Sabal palms (the Florida state tree) along the coast. This involved discussions with us and Kim Williams of University of Florida (a cooperator).
Nuttle et al. (18 authors including R.P. Stumpf), 1997. Forecasting the fate of coastal wetlands, Eos, in press.
Raabe, Ellen A. and Richard P. Stumpf, 1997, Determination of Long-term Change in the Big Bend Tidal Wetlands: Landscape-scale ecosystem evaluation with satellite imagery, Florida Big Bend Coastal Research Workshop: Toward a Scientific Basis for Ecosystem Management, William J. Lindberg, ed., University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, Technical Paper 88, pp. 41-42.
Raabe, Ellen A. and Richard P. Stumpf, 1997, Image Processing Methods: Procedures in Selection, Registration, Normalization and Enhancement of Satellite Imagery in Coastal Wetlands, U.S. Department of Interior, Geological Survey, Open-File Report 97-287, 29 pp. with 4 color plates.
Raabe, Ellen A. and Richard P. Stumpf, 1997, Assessment of acreage and vegetation change in Florida’s Big Bend tidal wetlands using satellite imagery, Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference: Remote Sensing for Marine and Coastal Environments, Volume I, 17-19 March, 1997, Orlando, FL, Environmental Research Institute of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, pp. 85-93.
Harris, M., M. Caldwell, J.D. Althausen, R.P. Stumpf, E.A. Raabe, 1997. Pre-processing methods of satellite imagery for coastal wetlands studies in the southeastern United States. Fourth International Conference on Remote Sensing for Marine and Coastal Environments, vol. 1, p. 642-648.
Stumpf, R.P. and J.W. Haines, 1998, Variations in tide level in the Gulf of Mexico and implications for tidal wetlands. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, vol. 46. P. 165-173.
Williams, K., K.C. Ewel, R.P. Stumpf, F.E. Putz, T.W. Workman, (submitted). Sea-level rise and coastal forest retreat on the west coast of Florida, USA. Ecological Monographs.
Raabe, Ellen A. and Richard P. Stumpf, 1998, A Misleading Shoreline: historic trends in Florida’s Big Bend intertidal marsh, ASPRS-RTI Annual Conference Proceedings, March 30-April 3, 1998, Tampa, FL, p. 649.
Raabe, E.A., R.P. Stumpf, K. Williams, and J.L. Ladner, 1997, Tidal Wetland Response to Sea Level and Climatic Variability in the Florida Big Bend, 14th Biennial Estuarine Research Federation (ERF) International Conference: The State of Our Estuaries, Abstracts, ERF ‘97 October 12-16, 1997, Providence, R.I., p. 149
Harris, M. R.P. Stumpf, E.Raabe, 1998, Utilizing principal components analysis and image time series for analysis of trends in Florida’s Big Bend coastal marsh. ASPRS-RTI Annual Conference Proceedings, March 30-April 3, 1998, Tampa, FL.
Cox, D. R.P. Stumpf, E.A. Raabe, 1998, NDVI applications as an aid in classification and the objective identification of ecotones. ASPRS-RTI Annual Conference Proceedings, March 30-April 3, 1998, Tampa, FL.
Raabe, Ellen A. and Richard P. Stumpf, 1998, Climatic Variability and Landscape Change on a Marsh Shoreline, 1998 ERIM Conference, Fifth International Conference, Remote Sensing for Marine and Coastal Environments, 5-7 October, 1998, San Diego, California, Session G.
Gulf of Mexico Tidal Wetlands website: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/wetlands/.
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center
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Updated May 06, 2013 @ 09:24 AM (THF)