Where do coastlines stabilize following rapid retreat?

Roanoke Bayhead DeltaBayhead deltas are located where rivers flow into estuaries.  They have broad low-elevation plains that are sensitive to small increases in the rate of sea-level rise.  In the past, when sea level was rising at a rate of 1 m per 100 years, bayhead deltas across the Northern Gulf of Mexico experienced a phase of rapid landward retreat.  Subsequently, those bayhead deltas  stabilized and Alex Simms (UC Santa Barbara) and I are interested in better understanding controls on bay-head delta stabilization following rapid retreat.  We recently published a paper in Geophysical Research Letters  that shows bayhead deltas stabilize at tributary junctions as they are moving landward in response to sea-level rise.  These results highlight the shortcomings of models that predict the impacts of sea-level rise by simply flooding topography (i.e. bathtub or passive-inundation models).  One of those passive-inundation models is being served by NOAA.  Play with the NOAA model online and then read our paper.

About Antonio Rodriguez

Institute of Marine Sciences
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.