|value||Over the past two years, the U. S. Geological Survey, University of California at Los Angeles, and Oregon State University have developed a multidisciplinary team with support from the Southwest CSC to develop a program entitled “Coastal Ecosystem Response to Climate Change (CERCC).” The focus of CERCC is to engage natural resource managers at coastal sites and provide them with the scientific foundation for developing “bottom-up” climate change understanding and adaptation at local and regional scales. Our initial work developed baseline datasets (1-cm-accuracy digital elevation models, tidal range loggers, coordinated plant surveys, and sediment studies) for a network of 18 sites along a latitudinal gradient along the Pacific coast in the continental U. S. The project was developed in consultation with the California and North Pacific LCCs, and recently, both LCCs included us in their initiatives and provided funding to undertake climate “roadshows” to conduct local coastal workshops and increase outreach efforts with local partners. In this Statement of Intent, we propose to continue baseline studies across a coastal site network and integrate process-based, experimental studies at selected sites.
Changing ocean and atmospheric conditions leading to sea-level rise and increased extreme storm events are reshaping nearshore coastal ecosystems and their local food webs. The sustainability of mud flats and tidal marshes relies on allochthonous suspended sediment availability from the nearshore and runoff from snowmelt and precipitation as well as autochthonous organic matter production from plants. Efforts to anticipate coastal ecosystem change have largely relied on global or regional scale data which may not be representative of local sites. In taking a local site network approach (www.werc.usgs.gov/SFBaySLR), we integrate data from multiple disciplines into empirical models describing current and future conditions and projected response of nearshore habitats. In addition, our network allows us to capture habitat responses to storm events such as atmospheric rivers that affect the California coast. We propose to leverage ongoing efforts including downscaled projections and storm modeling (Hall, Barnard, Holmquist, Brown), habitat characterization and risks (Thorne, Buffington, Dugger, De La Cruz), sediment studies (Ganju, Ambrose, Brown, Holmquist), and accretion processes (Guntenspergen, Thorne).
Our objectives include extensive studies across all California network sites and intensive studies at two selected sites. Extensive studies include: 1) work with CERCC network site managers to continue quarterly tidal meter (water level, salinity, temp) and Surface Elevation Tables (SETs) readings to capture storm events such as atmospheric rivers; 2) augment the Coastal Storm Modeling System (CoSMoS) at fine resolution (10s of meters) developing a coastal change module including flooding and erosion; and 3) integrate findings for an agent-based, decision simulation model (Envision) developed with LCC support. At intensive studies (Seal Beach, s. CA, Mediterranean climate; Humboldt Bay, n. CA, Oceanic climate), we will examine: 4) site-specific community response to inundation by growing plants at different elevations in marsh organs, belowground production with in-growth bags, decomposition rates, and soil salinity; 5) sediment flux measurements augmented by an array of water samplers to determine spatial patterns of suspended sediment concentrations over the marsh on 4 high tides to apply to a spatially-explicit accretion model; and 6) sedimentational, palynological, plant macrofossil, and malacological records from sediment cores (14C, 210Pb, or Cs chronologies) related to past hydrological disturbances and storms (compared with Obj. 4), long-term resilience of marsh vegetation, a surface sampling grid to reconstruct 3-D changes in marsh sedimentation including storms and channel evulsions to assess marsh topographic stability (linked to Obj. 5) where records from retrospective core studies will be correlated with intermediate climate variability (ENSO, PDO, Little Ice-Age, Medieval Climate Anomaly), storms, and tectonic changes.
|type||FY 14 Grant ($117,925)|