Decision Support Framework for Sea-level Rise Impacts
Loss of land as a result of increasing sea level is among the gravest threats that climate change poses to coastal areas, and one of the most difficult to prepare for because different beaches, barriers, and marshes can respond to sea level rise in various dynamic ways. By distinguishing between areas in the Northeast that are likely to experience flooding as a result of sea-level rise and those that are likely to respond dynamically to sea-level rise by moving or changing, this report offers a resource to support coastal management decisions at both regional and local scales in the context of accelerated change.
Go to the Product(s)
A USGS and Columbia University team evaluated 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 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.
LCC Staff Contact(s):
Megan Tyrrell, Coastal Resilience Coordinator