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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

NE CSC project completed: “A research and decision support framework to evaluate sea-level rise impacts in the northeastern U.S.”

Monday, April 28, 2014
Overwash, credit: USGS

Dr. Robert Thieler and colleagues at USGS (Nathaniel Plant and Dean Gesch) and Columbia University (Radley Horton), recently completed their study evaluating sea-level rise impacts in the northeastern U.S.  The project developed a reconnaissance method to distinguish 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). They found that areas likely to inundate include urban regions of intense development and/or coastal engineering, as well as bedrock coasts. Alternatively, areas 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. Publications are forthcoming - stay tuned!

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