Defense Date

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Edward R. Crawford

Second Advisor

Scott Neubauer

Third Advisor

Stephen McIninch

Abstract

Sediment accretion and elevation change in tidal forests, and the corresponding ability of these wetlands to keep pace with sea-level rise (SLR), represent data gaps in our understanding of wetland sustainability. Surface Elevation Tables and marker horizons were installed in three mature tidal forests and a restored tidal marsh, allowing us to measure elevation change, accretion, and subsidence. Additionally, we measured predictor variables to test for their significance in explaining accretion and elevation change rates. Mean accretion at our sites was 11.67 +/- 3.01 mm yr-1 and mean elevation change was -20.22 +/- 8.10 mm yr-1, suggesting subsidence occurring beneath the sites. Processes contributing to accretion and elevation change at our sites may be driven by hydrologic patterns. Comparing our elevation trends with SLR trends suggests that our study sites may not keep pace with SLR. However, we may be observing short-term oscillations that do not indicate true long-term trends.

Rights

© Ronaldo Lopez

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

8-9-2017

Available for download on Monday, August 08, 2022

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