Modeling the dynamics of salt marsh development in coastal land reclamation

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DOI
10.1029/2021GL095559
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Keywords
Marsh restoration
Land reclamation
COAWST
Vegetation dynamics
Phases of marsh development
Expectance of marsh coverage
Abstract
The valuable ecosystem services of salt marshes are spurring marsh restoration projects around the world. However, it is difficult to determine the final vegetated area based on physical drivers. Herein, we use a 3D fully coupled vegetation-hydrodynamic-morphological modeling system to simulate the final vegetation cover and the timescale to reach it under various forcing conditions. Marsh development in our simulations can be divided in three distinctive phases: A preparation phase characterized by sediment accumulation in the absence of vegetation, an encroachment phase in which the vegetated area grows, and an adjustment phase in which the vegetated area remains relatively constant while marsh accretes vertically to compensate for sea level rise. Sediment concentration, settling velocity, sea level rise, and tidal range each comparably affect equilibrium coverage and timescale in different ways. Our simulations show that the Unvegetated-Vegetated Ratio also relates to sediment budget in marsh development under most conditions.
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Author Posting. © American Geophysical Union, 2022. This article is posted here by permission of American Geophysical Union for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Geophysical Research Letters 49(6), (2022): e2021GL095559, https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GL095559.
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Xu, Y., Kalra, T. S., Ganju, N. K., & Fagherazzi, S. (2022). Modeling the dynamics of salt marsh development in coastal land reclamation. Geophysical Research Letters, 49(6), e2021GL095559.
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