Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Student Research Presentations

Fortnightly variability of sediment dynamics in tidal freshwater and saltwater marshes of the Chesapeake Bay

Year: 

2016

Authors: 

Reyer, C.* and C. Palinkas

Source: 

Ocean Sciences Meeting

Abstract: 

Salt and freshwater marshes exist at the interface of terrestrial and aquatic systems. Key differences exist between salt and freshwater marshes and even among marshes experiencing similar salinity; however, these differences are often not examined when drawing inferences about sustainability in the face of sea level rise. The main purpose of this study was to examine five key parameters at play in both Monie Bay (salt water) and Jug Bay (freshwater) in the Chesapeake Bay watershed: grain size, organic content, vegetative community, sedimentation rate, and turbidity over a period of two weeks. Previous studies have examined these parameters when studying marshes, although turbidity is often disregarded. In reality, the amount of sediment transported within the water column can have large implications on whether a marsh is likely to survive future sea level rise or suffer heavy losses to erosion. Because of the complex nature of these systems, it is wise to be cautious of making long-term assumptions off of short-term data collection.

Mentors: 

Cindy Palinkas, Ph.D.

Students: 

Connor Reyer, University of Georgia Athens

 
The REU students are indicated with an asterisk (*).