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Geospatial Characterization of Salt Marshes for Massachusetts


Publication Date


Ackerman, K.V., Defne, Z., and Ganju, N.K., 2021, Geospatial Characterization of Salt Marshes for Massachusetts: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


This data release contains coastal wetland synthesis products for Massachusetts, developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. Metrics for resiliency, including unvegetated to vegetated ratio (UVVR), marsh elevation, and tidal range are calculated for smaller units delineated from a digital elevation model, providing the spatial variability of physical factors that influence wetland health. The U.S. Geological Survey has been expanding national assessment of coastal change hazards and forecast products to coastal wetlands with the intent of providing Federal, State, and local managers with tools to estimate the vulnerability and ecosystem service potential of these wetlands. For this purpose, [...]

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“Location of MA salt marshes”
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These polygons were created to be used in evaluating the spatial variation of the response and resiliency of salt marshes based on consistently defined marsh units while facilitating a better understanding of the relative importance of the processes involved. The salt marshes of Massachusetts were delineated to smaller, conceptual marsh units by the geoprocessing of surface elevation data. Flow accumulation based on the relative elevation of each location is used to determine the ridge lines that separate each marsh unit while the surface slope is used to automatically assign each unit a drainage point, where water is expected to drain through.

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Type Scheme Key
DOI doi:10.5066/P97E086F

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