Poster Presentation Abstracts
Archive for Sea Level: A Resource for Sea Level Rise Research
Caldwell, Regional Science Officer, Honolulu, Hawai’i, National Coastal Data
Development Center (NCDDC)
Mark Merrifield, Director, University of Hawai’i Sea Level Center (UHSLC)
Beard, Director, NCDDC
Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC)
Oceanographic Data Center (NODC)
Environment Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS)
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Joint Archive for Sea Level (JASL) is a collaborative effort between the
University of Hawaii Sea Level Center (UHSLC) and the NOAA Data Centers (NODC
and NCDDC), with the objective of making high quality, international, long-term
time series of sea level data available for scientific research, education, and
The UHSLC provides scientific guidance while the NOAA data centers lend
expertise in data management.
The JASL is designated as an archive center of the Global Sea Level
Observing System (GLOSS), which is conducted under the auspices of the Joint
Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) of the
World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic
The JASL solicits contributions of recent and historic hourly sea level
data from over 60 agencies representing over 70 countries.
Hourly intervals allow a fine resolution in quality control.
The JASL is the largest international archive of research quality hourly
sea level data.
From the hourly data, daily and monthly means are computed.
The hourly, daily, and monthly values are submitted annually to the Word
Data Center for Oceanography-Silver Spring, co-located with the NODC, and the
Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level (PSMSL) in the United Kingdom.
The JASL is a valuable resource for investigations of long-term, large
scale, sea level variations such as global sea level rise.
of Black Mangrove (Avicennia sp.) Colony Expansion in the Gulf of Mexico
with Climate Change: Wetland Health and Resistance to Rising Sea Levels
Mead Allison1, Thomas Bianchi2
for Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA; 2Department
of Oceanography, Texas A&M University at College Station, College Station,
of black mangroves (Avicennia sp.)
are hypothesized to expand their latitudinal range because of a reduction
in the frequency of coastal freezes, which limit mangrove colonies and
individual tree size, and an overall warmer climate.
The Gulf of Mexico is located at the northward limit of black mangrove
habitat and is therefore a prime candidate for population expansion to occur.
This colonization would replace Spartina
We hypothesize that mangrove root systems raise soil elevations (by
rooting and increased sediment trapping) and increase resistance to land loss
and edge erosion from storm waves, due to elevation and increased soil strength.
In addition to elevation changes, mangrove expansion may alter organic
carbon sequestration and change estuarine productivity in adjacent water bodies.
The focus of this study is not to validate the expansion of mangrove
populations in the Gulf of Mexico, but to examine the regional and global
implications of this expansion with respect to predicted rises in sea level,
cyclonic storms, and global carbon storage.
sites of adjacent and intergrown Avicennia mangrove and Spartina
marsh populations in similar geomorphological setting were selected in
backbarrier areas near Port Aransas and Galveston, TX (two sites each).
High-accuracy (±1 cm) elevation maps over ~5,000 m2 areas
were created using a GPS base station and transit topographic mapping.
Peat auger (no compaction) cores from marsh and mangrove areas were
collected for sampling of organic matter content, pore water chemistry, Pb/Cs
sediment accumulation rates, sediment grain size, and pigment and lignin-phenol
biomarkers of organic matter source(s).
Elevation surveys to date indicate mangrove areas are a few centimeters
higher in elevation than surrounding marsh at the patch and individual mangrove
scale, with less of an elevation offset in clayey versus sandy soils.
Preliminary results of core sediments indicate porosity is lower in
mangrove rooted horizons (upper ~20 cm), with a corresponding increase in
No consistent variation in grain size has been observed on sites thus
far, suggesting little evidence for increased trapping of suspended particulates
in the mangrove areas, although data on sediment accumulation rates is still
Our reconnaissance for site surveys to date, ultimately designed to cover
the full latitudinal range of the western Gulf of Mexico, suggests that black
mangrove populations are clustered near inlet areas, indicating seed transport
pathways are a major control on colony establishment, and likely, the rapidity
of habitat replacement.
Considerations for Estimating Coastal Inundation Risk in the Gulf of Mexico and
Consequences of Sea Level Rise
S. Dukhovskoy1; Steven L. Morey1
for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, The Florida State University,
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2840;
he vulnerability to Sea Level Rise for the Gulf of Mexico coast varies
significantly because of spatial differences in: the coastline geometry, tides,
beach slope, and frequency of hurricane impacts. For example, Hurricane Dennis
(2005) caused extreme flooding along the coastal zone of the northeastern Gulf
of Mexico, even though local winds were relatively weak.
A modeling study presented here shows that this region is particularly
susceptible to intense flooding during storms due to its coastline geometry in
relation to storm tracks, even though this region is less frequently directly
impacted by hurricanes compared to other places in the Gulf.
Improvements in storm surge modeling methodologies are being applied to
assess the geographic differences in flooding risks from storm surges and waves
compared to risk of loss due to high winds.
One of the likely impacts of Sea Level Rise on the region is higher
vulnerability to coastal inundation and flooding.
Predicting the change in inundation risk due to sea level rise along the
Gulf of Mexico coast over extended temporal scales is important for assessing
potential future economic, social, and environmental transformations of the
and Sediment Grain-Size Distribution of Beach Ridge Dunes on North Padre Island,
Western Gulf of Mexico
: Implications for Estimating Regional Centennial to Millennial Sea-Level
Fluctuations and Paleo-Storm Intensity
R. Garrison, Jr.1, Joshua Williams1, Alberto Mestas-Nunez2,
and Timothy Dellapenna1
Geology Laboratory, Department of Marine Sciences, Texas A&M University at
Galveston, Galveston, Texas 77554; 2Department of Physical and
Environmental Sciences, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi, Corpus
Christi, Texas 78412
ridge height and grain-size distributions are, in part, controlled by sea level
and wave intensity and can be used as proxies for evaluating the magnitude and
periodicity of meter-scale-sea-level fluctuations and paleo-storm intensities.
Low dune ridges, formed during periods of sea-level lowstand and low storm
intensity, are characterized by grain-size distributions exhibiting high
kurtosis. High dune ridges, formed during periods of sea-level highstands and
high storm intensity, are characterized by grain-size distributions with low
North Padre Island low dune ridges exhibit grain-size distributions with high
kurtosis and a low abundance of storm-induced sand. High dune ridges exhibit
poly-modal grain-size distributions with low kurtosis suggesting that dune sand
is a mixture of poly-modal storm-induced shoreface sand. An analysis of
shoreface grain-size distributions has resulted in a mixing model that suggests
storm-induced sand is sourced from different water depths along the shoreface
profile. The grain-size distribution of storm sand is controlled by the depth of
storm wave base, which is positively correlated with storm intensity.
dune sand grain-size mixing model and dune elevation data suggest
climate-induced-sea-level fluctuations in the Gulf of Mexico with periods of
200-250, 400-500, and 900-1,000 years, consistent with the periodicities
observed in published Late Holocene sea-level curves and climate-change proxy
curves. These changes are consistent with centennial- and millennial-scale
changes over the North Atlantic Ocean.
of Large Scale Habitat Restoration Projects to Sea Level Rise
; Benson, Kristopher2
Systems Group, NOAA Restoration Center, Mobile, AL 36615; 2NOAA
Restoration Center, Galveston, TX, 77551.
of the most important factors for consideration in design of coastal restoration
projects is sea level rise. With
funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), NOAA
Restoration Center (RC) has funded large-scale restoration projects designed to
produce significant ecological habitat features to create buffers, which protect
coastal communities from sea level rise, coastal storms, and flooding.
In the Gulf of Mexico (TX, LA and AL), ARRA projects are being
implemented using innovative adaptive management restoration techniques that are
designed to be long-lasting in the face of rising sea levels.
Salt marsh restoration/creation projects have specific elevation designs
to allow for the migration of intertidal marsh to higher elevations as relative
sea level rises, potentially three feet over the next 100 years.
Oyster reef restoration projects, besides serving as shoreline
stabilizers, are self-maintaining and self-sustaining, resulting in continuous
building of the reef that can potentially keep up with effects of sea level
rise. Three different types of reefs
(ReefBlk, Reef Ball and oyster bags) are being trialed to learn which will
lessen increased wave action and allow for accretion and migration of habitat
behind the reef. There are many
assumptions and hypotheses behind the use of these types of restoration
techniques. The results from these
projects should help us to further elucidate valid techniques that will be
responsive to sea level rise and will make these Gulf shorelines more resilient
to a changing climate.
Simulating Mississippi River Conditions after Future Perturbations
E.1; Willson, C.1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University,
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
1500-1900 mi2 of land, primarily low-lying coastal marshes on
Louisiana’s delta plain, have become submerged since the 1930s. The
deterioration of the LA coastal marshes, which are of major ecological,
recreational and economical importance, is alarming and of national concern
because it represents approximately 90 percent of the total coastal marsh loss
occurring in the United States.
most of the Louisiana coastal area, relative sea level rise, that controls total
land loss, is approximately one order of magnitude greater than the global sea
level rise rate and has caused large increases in the amount of coastal land
which is submerged and subjected to erosion pressures together with the duration
of flooding. Even though factors such as hydrologic isolation of the wetlands
and geological subsidence may be more relevant for the land loss problem than
global sea level rise, increases in the eustatic sea level will have an
important impact on the dynamics of the lower River system.
two-dimensional hydrodynamic finite element adaptive model for the Lower
Mississippi River Delta (from River Mile 105 to Gulf of Mexico) that includes
all of the lower River passes and openings together with many of the dynamic
forcings from the Gulf has been calibrated and validated. In this presentation,
model results will show the impact of future sea level rise on flow distribution
through the various passes and general sediment transport behavior of the river
system. We will also discuss potential implications for management of the lower
and Climatic Forcings of Tide Gauge Variability
S. Kolker1, Valerie Cruz1, and Sultan Hameed2
Universities Marine Consortium, Chauvin, LA
of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY
of global sea-level rise calculated for the last century and recent decades
range from about 1.1 mm yr-1 to 3.1 mm yr-1, with the
higher values found for the more recent episodes. However, these sea level
changes are occurring against a backdrop in which season and annual variability
in sea level is orders of magnitude greater than the long-term trend. This
variability makes it difficult to calculate long-term trends. Many investigators
cope with the confounding effects caused by this variability by averaging large
and long-term data sets. An alternative approach is to understand the causes of
this variability and to use this understanding as a means to better elucidate
patterns in the tide gauge records. Here we present data seasonal and
interannual sea-level data from a suite of tide gauges on the Gulf Coast and
both coasts of the Atlantic Ocean. After adjusting for glacial isostatic
adjustments, sea-level variability at these sites can be understood in terms of
seasonal meteorological processes, shifts in global wind and pressure fields,
changes in the position on atmospheric centers of action, and global climate
change. This work provides key insights into the relative importance between
climate variability and climate trends.
Variability of Extreme Sea Level Anomalies along the U.S. Gulf of Mexico
Andrew J. Kennedy2; Shawn R. Smith1; Melissa L. Griffin1;
James J. O’Brien1
for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies, The Florida State University,
Tallahassee, FL 32306-2840; 2National Weather Service, Marquette, MI
Weather Forecast Office, 112 Airpark Drive South, Negaunee, MI 49866
sea level anomalies responsible for flooding and extreme low water conditions
are driven by extra-tropical and tropical storms in the Gulf of Mexico.
This study examines daily sea level records over the past fifty years to
identify trends and modes of variability in the coastal sea level.
A strong seasonal signal is evident in the sea level variability, with
maximum variability in the winter months.
Interannual variability in the frequency of occurrence of the extreme sea
level anomalies is associated with El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) during
the fall and winter. This is consistent with ENSO-related changes in the genesis
location of extratropical atmospheric low pressure systems and in the tracks of
these weather systems. The impacts of tropical systems in the summer through
early fall months on coastal sea level in the GOM are shown by infrequent
extreme high and low anomalies coinciding with individual storms. However, the
number of storms affecting the data record from a particular sea level station
is too small to confirm ENSO related variability. Statistical methods are
employed to demonstrate a significant link between extreme sea-level anomalies
in the GOM and
during the October to March period.
Information Resources for Community Resilience and Sea Level Rise Planning:
NOAA County Snapshots and Spatial Trends in Coastal Socioeconomics Web
Percy1; Heidi Recksiek2; Ache, Brent1;
NOAA Ocean Service, 1305 East West Highway N/MB7, Silver Spring, MD
NOAA Coastal Services Center, 350 Caroll Street, Eastpoint, FL
NOAA Coastal Services Center, 1315 East West Highway, 10th Floor, Silver Spring,
Two new NOAA products provide coastal and ocean managers
with human dimension information for community resilience and sea level rise
planning. First, the County
Snapshots provides local officials with a summary look at demographic,
infrastructure, and land use information within the FEMA 100-year flood zone for
the Nation’s coastal counties. Second,
the Spatial Trends in Coastal Socioeconomics – or STICS – Web site allows
users to dig deeper into the demographic and economic status and trends within
this same flood zone area. STICS
recompiles several national demographic and economic datasets into a variety of
geographic units that coastal and ocean managers must work with on a daily
basis: (1) placed-based management
programs, for example, the NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserves and the
USEPA National Estuary Programs; coastal floodplains, for example, FEMA 100-year
flood hazard areas; coastal watersheds, for example, NOAA estuaries and USGS
hydrologic units; and political areas, for example, counties, states, and
Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) state coastal zone management program
boundaries. STICS currently offers
the following national datasets: (1) demographic information from the U.S.
Census Bureau; (2) personal income and employment information from the Bureau of
Economic Analysis; (3) demographic projections developed by Woods and Poole
Economics, Inc.; and (4) participation in coastal recreational activities from
the National Survey on Recreation in the Environment.
The STICS Quick Report Tool provides a map-based interface to easily
discover demographic and economic characteristics of the 100-year flood zone for
the Nation’s coastal counties.
and Future Impacts of Sea Level Rise on Coastal Habitats and Species in the
Langtimm, C. A.2; DeAngelis, D. L.2.; Krohn, M. D.3,
Smith, T. J. III2; Stith, B. M.2; Swain, E. D.4
of the Regional Executive-SE Area, Orlando, FL; 2USGS-Southeast
Ecological Science Center, Gainesville, FL; 3USGS-St. Petersburg
Science Center, St. Petersburg, FL;
4USGS-Florida Water Center, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
USGS Integrated Modeling Project, established in March 2009, merges biologic and
hydrologic models to develop tools and products to help resource managers
anticipate the projected ecological consequences of rising sea level in coastal
south Florida. The project builds on prior USGS models and research in support
of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). To develop a realistic
suite of predictive models, we are (1) Enhancing an existing hydrologic model to
reliably hindcast multi-decadal observed sea level rise (SLR) phenomena; (2)
Developing mechanistic models of coastal vegetation change, which help explain
how hydrologic changes associated with SLR induces vegetation regime change; (3)
Incorporating episodic disturbance events, particularly hurricanes, and
estimating their impact on hydrologic and vegetation change models; (4)
Integrating vegetation change and hydrologic models to simulate variables for
both spatially-explicit population models and models of habitat suitability
indices for focal species; and (5) Developing predictive capability for the
integrated ecologic-hydrologic models, which incorporates comparative
assessments of effects to floral and faunal species under projected restoration,
management, and SLR scenarios.
Mean Sea Level –
What are the Recent Changes Along the Texas Gulf Coast?
Alex,; Jeffress, Gary; Tissot, Philippe; Duff, Scott.
Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science, Texas A&M University-Corpus
Sea Level is defined By NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) as “The
arithmetic mean of hourly heights observed over the National Tidal Datum Epoch
(the latest being 1983-2001). Shorter series are specified in the name; e.g.
monthly mean sea level and yearly mean sea level.” Where sea level is
changing, NOS now computes updated tidal datums, including Mean Sea Level, when
a five-year mean varies from the published Epoch value by more that 3
centimeters. Data of monthly mean sea levels provided by 11 Texas Coastal Ocean
Observation Network (TCOON) stations have been used to find running averages for
5 years and compare these data to the published Mean Sea Level for each station.
Data was also subjected to factor analysis (main components), which demonstrated
that there are two main factors explaining variations of the see levels: one
could be interpreted as regional and a second factor with significantly less
weight could be interpreted as local. The first factor is showing increases with
most recent data for 5-year running averages, while the input of the second
factor is somewhat steady. Using 4 factors allows consideration of local causes
in Mean Sea Level change; the land subsiding at differing rates along the Texas
coast may be one explanation of local variations of the mean sea level.
Sea Level Rise in
the Gulf of Mexico: What Can the
Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Do for You?
Christina1; Swaykos, Joe2; Mitchum, Gary3;
Weisberg, Robert W3.; Jeffress, Gary4; Jochens, Ann5
Coast Research Lab, University of Southern Mississippi, Ocean Springs, MS, 39564
of Higher Learning, University of Southern Mississippi, Stennis Space Center,
of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, FL, 33701
of Science and Technology, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus
Christi, TX 78412
of Oceanography, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 77843
phenomenon of sea-level rise in the Gulf of Mexico is of special concern because
many coastal residents live at, or in some cases below, sea level.
With high end estimates into 2100 on the order of 1.5 m, many coastal
communities would be inundated. What,
if anything, can be done to mitigate how people and the environment respond?
There are many dimensions to the issue, ranging from historical trends in
sea level change to new technologies to drive models that assess the impacts of
future change. Presented here are
examples of projected changes in coastal communities based on current estimates
of sea-level rise, and the technologies being applied to generate the forecasts.
These include output from numerical models driven by data-rich
observation programs, cutting edge data visualization methods, and global ocean
estimates from satellite altimetry.
A challenge to implementing innovative management strategies for the Gulf region
is aggregating and disseminating information in a way that is meaningful and
easily accessible to a variety of stakeholders.
The developing Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional
Association (GCOOS RA), one of eleven RAs of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing
System (IOOS), can be instrumental in promoting the use of these data.
With 13 IOOS-DMAC-compliant parameters currently available via the GCOOS
data portal, the diverse data streams provide the tool with which we can
integrate and manage the data and products.
Level Rise and the Redevelopment of
Following Hurricane Ike
Parks and Wildlife Department, State Parks Division, 105 San Jacinto St., La
Porte, TX, 77571
beachside infrastructure and dune field at Galveston Island State Park;
Galveston, Texas, were destroyed by Hurricane Ike on September 13, 2008.
The remains of this infrastructure including most paved surfaces have
High rates of relative sea level rise and subsequent inland migration of
the Park’s beach prior to Hurricane Ike had narrowed the dune field to 30’
or less with either hard infrastructure or a natural wetland swale preventing
inland dune development.
park redevelopment goal is to facilitate sand dune recovery both for protection
of future park facilities and conservation of the active dune field’s native
New beach access and camping facilities will therefore need to anticipate
sea level rise induced beach and dune migration over an appropriate planning
Historic aerial photography and elevation survey were used to determine
the past extent of active dune fields at the State Park under relatively stable
sea level conditions.
Current beach migration rates inland were estimated as well as the
expected width of the future dune field at the Park.
These were used to project the beach and active dune field location 50
years from the present.
Change on Ingleside Barrier Strandplains using Available Data:
Elizabeth H. and Rosaleen G. Baluyot.
for Coastal Studies, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, TX, 7812-5866
Ingleside barrier strandplain is located in the Texas Coastal Bend.
The peninsulas are connected to the mainland and separated by shallow
bays and barrier islands from the Gulf of Mexico.
The peninsulas share a common geologic past and formation, but may
exhibit biologic gradients as a result of environmental gradients along the
coast (i.e., higher temperatures, lower rainfall, higher evaporation from north
to south). The increase in sea level
rise from both eustatic and local subsidence will affect land cover proportions
in the upland and aquatic zones. This
study focused on developing a spatial model in GIS that can address those
changes in relation to soils and land cover data using Lamar Peninsula, which
encompassed all habitat types representative of the barrier strandplain.
By increasing sea level one meter, upland coverage decreased from 72.5%
to 35.1%, with a concomitant increase in aquatic habitats.
The peninsula connection to the mainland became inundated, and exhibited
the most increase in wetland habitats. Unvegetated
flats and intertidal marshes predominated the landscape.
The palustrine wetlands currently occurring in this area provided the
marsh mosaic with areas of lower elevations, which shifted to subtidal submerged
vegetation and connective tidal channels. The
upland habitat also shifted from 76% coastal oak woodland to <30%,
potentially as a result of reduced upland area, as well as higher storm surge
and saltwater intrusion impacts. These
changes will have pronounced impacts on upland and aquatic wildlife, as well as
future development on the peninsula.
Case Study of Galveston, Texas: Measuring, Deciphering and Presenting
Information Regarding Local Sea Level Variability
Sweet; Chris Zervas; Steve Gill
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service, 1305 East-West
Highway, Silver Spring, MD, 20912
U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and its predecessor
organization have been measuring sea level (SL) since the mid-19th
Originally in support of charting and marine boundary delineation,
long-term data sets, like those recorded since 1908 on Pier 21 and 1957 on
Pleasure Pier in Galveston, now quantify SL variability that directly impacts
Observations from the NOAA Galveston stations 1) capture event-driven
storm surges and determine their reoccurrence frequencies.
2) The observations define a >0.25 m mean seasonal cycle, highest in
September and October coincident to hurricane season, which results from
fluctuations in the regional wind field, coastal currents, and water densities.
3) The observations isolate the frequency and magnitude of SL anomalies
driven by irregular ocean-atmosphere interactions forcing SL above/below
4) The observations track long-term relative SL trends, 6.39 ±0.28 mm/yr
at Pier 21 and 6.84 ±0.81 mm/yr at Pleasure Pier, and include a local land
backbone of each system is a network of benchmarks that monitor the vertical
stability of the observation platform and provide user access to the vertical
The centimeter-level accuracy of the SL measurements transferred onto the
benchmarks via geodetic surveys facilitates a local vertical reference frame.
A localized informational picture of inundation related to the SL
variability can be construed using the highly accurate (~20 cm) LIDAR
topographic data that exists for the Galveston area.
In the face of climate change, deciphering and presenting data concerning
local SL variability is imperative for coastal restoration initiatives,
emergency preparedness, habitat management and planning of coastal
Level Rise Visualization on the Alabama-Mississippi and Delaware Coastlines
D. Phil1; Thatcher, Cindy2; Sempier, Stephen3;
Wilson, Scott A.2; Mason, Jr., Robert R.1; Marcy, Douglas4;
Burkett, Virginia R.5; Carter, David B.6; Culver, Mary4;
Wilson, Jr., K. Van7
415 National Center, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192; 2USGS,
700 Cajundome Blvd., Lafayette, LA, 70506; 3Mississippi-Alabama Sea
Grant Consortium, 703 East Beach Drive, Ocean Springs, MS 39564; 4NOAA-NOS,
Coastal Services Center, 2234 South Hobson Avenue, Charleston, SC 29405; 5USGS,
540 North Courthouse Street, Many, LA, 71449; 6Delaware Coastal
Programs, DNREC, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19947; 7USGS, 308 South
Airport Road, Jackson, MS, 39208
communities throughout the U.S. are in the initial stages of thinking about,
planning, and/or creating climate adaptation plans.
Emergency managers, developers, and the general public need to know the
potential impact of a rising sea level and how that phenomenon may influence
plans for developing future critical infrastructure and for habitat restoration
2008, in response to these critical needs, the U.S. Geological Survey and the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in concert with the
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, the Delaware Department of Natural
Resources and Environmental Control and several other Federal, State, and local
stakeholders formed a team to create two pilot internet map applications that
could effectively project various sea level rise scenarios on the
Alabama-Mississippi Gulf of Mexico Coast and the mouth of the Christina River on
and Upper Delaware Bay.
Alabama-Mississippi Gulf of Mexico Coastal pilot Internet Map Server (http://gom.usgs.gov/slr/index.html)
was developed from an existing server which was built principally to display the
maximum storm tide crest resulting from Hurricane Katrina (2005).
This server quickly and easily projects 1-, 3-, 6-ft sea level rises onto
a 3-meter digital elevation model constructed from Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)
data procured before Hurricane Katrina.
The Delaware River pilot (http://csc-s-web-q.csc.noaa.gov/de_slr/index.html),
developed with a similar concept, used a 2-meter horizontal Digital Elevation
Model created from State of Delaware LiDAR data to illustrate a hypothetical
4ft. rise in sea level. Flood
frequency estimates were computed based on National Weather Service coastal
flood warning criteria to show how these increases in sea level could make daily
tidal flooding worse.
of coastal systems to accelerated sea-level rise
J. Wallace; John B. Anderson
Earth Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77251, USA
rise rates are predicted to exceed 4 mm/yr by the year 2100. Many sea-level rise
models rely on inundation scenarios for areas within 1-2 meters elevation (i.e.
areas expected to be affected in the next century). However, these models do not
take into account complex barrier island dynamics. We argue that these models
are not an accurate representation of shoreline response, and should not be used
for coastal planning scenarios. Rather, the geologic record coupled with data
for the last century can aide in understanding and developing planning
strategies. In order to understand how coastal systems will respond to sea level
rise (SLR) rates greater than 4 mm/yr, we must go back several millennia.
Previous studies have determined that shoreline retreat rates were as high as 60
m/yr from ~10,000-6,000 yr B.P. During this time period, SLR rates ranged from
5-9 mm/yr, and many bays along the Texas coast back-stepped rapidly. Most of the
barrier islands along the Texas coast appear to have formed ~5,000 yrs B.P.,
when the rate of SLR slowed to ~2 mm/yr. However, after their formation, some
barriers have remained stable during the same time that others were retreating.
Therefore, during rapid SLR scenarios, coastal systems respond quite differently
than passively being flooded in place. By understanding how each system has
responded in the past during similar sea-level rise rates, we can better plan
and predict future coastal change.
of Extreme Value Statistical Distributions and Implications for Galveston Pier
Natalya1; Tissot, Philippe2;
Sterba-Boatwright, Blair1; Jeffress, Gary2
A&M University-Corpus Christi Department of Mathematics & Statistics,
Corpus Christi, TX, 78412,; 2Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Conrad Blucher Institute, Corpus Christi , TX 78412 .
are the most common natural disasters affecting societies around the world. The
confluence of sea level rise and population growth in coastal regions makes it
essential to continue improving flood management strategies. For an efficient
planning it is essential to develop accurate flooding estimates which take into
account both local effects such as vertical land motion and global effects such
as estimated rates of sea level rise linked to climate change. Several extreme
value distributions are compared using multiple statistical measures for the
modeling of maximum yearly surges. Vertical land motion, broader sea level rise,
tidal and atmospheric forcings are considered separately. The surge distribution
models are based on the 105 years record of Galveston Pier 21, Texas.
different statistical distribution than presently used by most researchers and
FEMA is selected to estimate flood risk. Exceedance probabilities of past storms
are compared after including the influence of past sea level rise. The extreme
surge distributions are then combined with sea level rise projections to
estimate future water level exceedance probabilities. The research shows that by
year 2100 and using the past rate of sea level rise exceedance probabilities
could double for large storms such as Hurricane Ike but increase by 5 or even 6
times for smaller storms such as Hurricanes Alicia and Rita. While individually
not as devastating or costly as large hurricanes, the cumulative and regular
cost of smaller events could well be a bigger threat to coastal communities as
sea level rises.
Adaptation to Rising Sea Levels
Williams M.Arch, David Fries M.S, Mark Weston M.Arch, Shannon Bassett MA.UD.
of South Florida, Ecosystems Technology Group- College of Marine Science
world is drastically changing. Temperatures are rising, skies over cities are
blanketed with smoke, and melting glaciers are raising sea levels at alarming
rates. Although the destruction we face is already threatening the quality of
life for billions around the world, it could just be the beginning. What is
projected to come in the future could be catastrophic. It is crucial to realize
that climate change is already happening. One of the main concerns stemming from
climate change is that as the polar ice caps continue to melt, rising water will
invade our coastal cities around the world. In accordance with sea level
projection maps, sea levels will rise 15 feet in some areas, and major cities
like Miami, Galveston, Shanghai, Calcutta, and Manhattan will be completely
submerged. We must ask ourselves: How can we avoid a mass migration as water
levels invade our homes and cities? Instead of retreating inland, adaptation
strategies should be devised. This proposal will explore how homes, buildings,
and cities should respond to sea level increase through the implementation of a
new architectural typology—Aquatecture. Aquatecture is defined as an
architectural adaptation typology used to mitigate and manage flooding (long and
short term). With this typology, water and architectural design can unite to
produce dynamic and reliable mitigation solutions. The main course of action
involves redefining three main living systems: a home, a neighborhood, and a
residential tower to resist destruction of rising water levels and to continue
city-town-home inhabitation. For example, a home that rises along pilings as
water levels increase, forming self-sustaining communities with these adaptable
homes, and adaptive reuse strategies for existing infrastructures are some
adaption strategies to be explored. In addition to adaptable building design,
supporting systems will be integrated throughout affected areas. Systems such as
alternative energy production (wind turbines, hydro-electric, photovoltaics),
alternative farming, mixed-used industry, alternative transportation, and water
filtration zones will be incorporated. With the help of Aquatecture,
alternatives to abandoning our coastal cities are provided. Due to the
flexibility of site location that Aquatecture allows, this intervention can
serve as a long-term solution and standard of living within current and
projected flood prone areas around the world.
Simulation of Sabine Lake and the Surrounding Wetlands – Transient Response to
the Changing Sea Level
Yadagiri1; Yang Zhou1; Ning Zhang1
of Engineering, McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA 70609
Lake is a 90,000 acre (364 km²) salt water estuary formed by the confluence of
the Sabine River and the Neches River. It drains through Sabine Pass into the
Gulf of Mexico. The lake borders Jefferson Country, Texas, Orange Country,
Texas, and Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The nearby city of Port Arthur is located
on the northwest side of the lake. Numerical simulation and analysis of the
hydrodynamics and water-component transports in the Sabine Lake and surrounding
wetlands is very important for assessing impacts of sea-level rise. The analysis
of the results will assist in the development of preservation plans for the
wetlands and coastal areas. The simulation software was successfully developed,
debugged and tested. The unsteady two-dimensional shallow water equations are
the governing equations in this study. The flow, circulation and water surface
elevation were investigated in this study. The flooding of the wetlands near the
lake due the sea-level rise was also simulated, thanks to the available land
elevation data. Since the ocean surface level changes with time, the
hydrodynamics of the lake water also changes accordingly. Therefore, fully
unsteady simulations are required. From the transient response of water surface
elevations in the lake area to the transient tidal conditions of the Gulf of
Mexico, we can determine when and where will be flooded, thus the impacts of the
sea-level rise on the Sabine Lake and the surrounding coastal wetlands.
ecosystem vulnerability to climate chance effect in Yucatan Peninsula (carbonate
settings), SE Mexico
M. Arturo1,2; Herrera-Silveira, Jorge A.1,2;
Teutli-Hernández, Claudia1; Rivera-Monroy, Victor H.3;
Coronado-Molina, Carlos 4; Hernández-Saavedra, Raquel 5,
Caamal-Sosa, Juan P.; Perez-Ceballos, Rosela 1
Unidad Merida, Km 6 Ant. Carr. a Progreso, Merida Yucatan, Mexico.
Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Florida Water Management District - Everglades Division.
de Investigación Oceanográfica de Progreso, Secretaria de Marina.
coast of Yucatan Peninsula is characterized by semi-arid climate, hurricanes
impacts, low tide, groundwater discharges and carbonate soil. This last
condition limits the sediments source to mangrove forest and increases their
vulnerability to the sea level rise. Permanent forest plot, SET bases and press
level logger were installing in several sites in Yucatan Peninsula as part a
long-term monitoring program. Our research is focused in the analysis of the
potential effects of climate change on the Yucatan mangroves in relation with
the environmental and hydrogeological characteristics of these region and the
anthropic factors that impact these coastal ecosystems. Results showed in site
with strong influence of groundwater discharges (springs), the
mangrove forest had the highest structure value (complexity index =17) and
litterfall production (16 t ha/yr). Vertical accretions show spatial pattern
from 3.9 mm/yr to 1.0 mm/yr while the elevation varied from 5.3 mm/yr to -2.8
mm/yr according to wet or dry scenarios. The spatial differences are related
with local forcing function as organic matter production, porewater storage and
sediment type, as well as regional variables as erosion/deposition by storms and