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Salt marsh modeling coupled with hydrodynamic modeling

Marsh modeling Hydro-MEM

Decision Support for Hurricane Sandy Restoration and Future Conservation to Increase Resiliency of Tidal Wetland Habitats and Species in the Face of Storms and Sea Level Rise- Marsh equilibrium model (MEM) coupled with the Advanced Circulation (ADCIRC) hydrodynamic model.

This cooperative agreement, part of the suite of North Atlantic LCC Hurricane Sandy Marsh resilience projects, will increase understanding of how marshes across a range of conditions in the Northeast are likely to respond to sea level rise and storms.  We will parameterize coupled marsh and hydrodynamic models for estuaries in the Northeast affected by Hurricane Sandy. The model will be applied to Plum Island Sound, MA in 2015. In the second year of the project, the Hydro-MEM model will be applied to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge, in coastal NJ, the John H. Chafee National Wildlife Refuge, in Rhode Island and the back barrier marsh complexes from the inlet of Chesapeake Bay to Ocean City MD, including the Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

 The objective of this project is to forecast the evolution of marsh landscapes under different sea-level rise scenarios with and without marsh restoration and added storm surge modeling.

 Available or Expected Products & Tools:

A. A coupled biological-hydrodynamic model (Hydro-MEM) that is parameterized for Plum Island estuary to forecast marsh responses to sea-level rise and forecast storm surge with sea-level rise and with altered marsh landscapes. Modeled spatial data outputs will be at a resolution that can be input by larger project partners in decision support tools.

B. Integrated Hydro-MEM models for other Northeast estuaries representing a range of geography, estuary type, tidal range, sediment budget and other factors and with spatial data outputs at a resolution that can be input by larger project partners in decision support tools.

C. Final summary and report on model results including recommendations for next steps to apply across the region.  


LCC Staff Contact: Megan Tyrrell

Additional data collection for specific sites to be modeled under this project has taken place in the summer and fall of 2015.  Dr. Katherine Renken is collating extensive existing data for the Plum Island ecosystem for the first MEM/ADCIRC application under this cooperative agreement.

Progress Reports

University of South Carolina progress reports: 1st Qtr 2015; July-December 2015; January-June 2016

Hurricane Sandy Disaster Mitigation Funds

Hurricane Sandy affected region (Maine to Virginia)

See links to presentations by project principal investigators Jim Morris and Scott Hagen at the first North Atlantic Tidal Marsh Resilience workshop in Hadley, MA in December 2014.

Read a case study about how the Hydro-MEM model has been applied by partners working to protect the Great Marsh in Northeastern Massachusetts. 

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