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A research and decision support framework to evaluate sea-level rise impacts in the northeastern U.S.


Robert Thieler

Nathaniel Plant

Dean Gesch

Radley Horton

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
U.S. Geological Survey, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center
Woods Hole, MA


We developed a reconnaissance method to distinguish those coastal areas in the northeastern U.S. ( Virginia-Maine) that will likely experience a predominantly inundation (e.g., flooding) response to sea-level rise (SLR) from those that will likely respond dynamically by moving or changing (e.g., landforms such as barrier islands and marshes). Areas that are likely to inundate include urban regions of intense development and/or coastal engineering, as well as bedrock coasts. Areas that are likely to respond dynamically include beaches, unconsolidated cliffs, barrier islands, and wetlands. By distinguishing the response to a variety of sea level projections in these areas, future work can inform appropriate scientific research and decision support efforts.