May 25

Integrated Modeling of Hydrodynamics and Marsh Evolution Under Sea Level Rise in Apalachicola, Florida

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K. Alizad, M.V. Bilskie, D. Passeri (2013). “Integrated Modeling of Hydrodynamics and Marsh Evolution Under Sea Level Rise.” Florida Watershed Journal, http://www.flwatershedjournal.org/?p=248.

The northern Gulf of Mexico is home to a vast amount of coastal ecosystems that provide natural and economic resources. Rising sea levels may threaten these resources with increased flood magnitude and frequency, accelerated erosion, loss of wetlands, and saltwater intrusion. The Ecological Effects of Sea Level Rise in Northern Gulf Of Mexico (EESLR-NGOM), a five year interdisciplinary effort funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), aims to assess these effects and provide local coastal managers with the knowledge and tools to prepare for the dynamic impacts of tides and storm surge magnified by sea level rise (SLR). The project builds on field observations centered at three National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERR) including Apalachicola, Grand Bay and Weeks Bay. The field observations aid in the development, parameterization and validation of integrated models (e.g. hydrodynamic and biologic) to predict the response of the coastal system under various SLR scenarios.

The accurate development and parameterization of these models is crucial for simulating future sea level rise scenarios; however, modeling the physical processes of estuaries can be challenging due to their complex nature. To accomplish this, hydrodynamic, sediment transport and biological models are integrated, as their respective processes depend on and interact with one another.

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