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Geospatial characterization of salt marshes in Chesapeake Bay


Publication Date


Ackerman, K.V., Defne, Z., and Ganju, N.K., 2022, Geospatial characterization of salt marshes in Chesapeake Bay: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


This data release contains coastal wetland synthesis products for Chesapeake Bay. 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, the response and resilience of coastal wetlands to physical factors need to be assessed [...]

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“Location of Chesapeake Bay 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 marsh complexes based on consistently defined marsh units while facilitating a better understanding of the relative importance of the processes involved. The salt marshes of Chesapeake Bay 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.
Location of Chesapeake Bay salt marshes
Location of Chesapeake Bay salt marshes


Spatial Services

ScienceBase WMS


  • USGS Data Release Products
  • Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center

Associated Items



20230324 - replaced browse graphics on each page

Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
DOI doi:10.5066/P997EJYB

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