Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Journal of Geophysical Research Letters
The lateral extent and vertical stability of salt marshes experiencing rising sea levels depend on interacting drivers and feedbacks with potential for nonlinear behaviors. A two‐dimensional transect model was developed to examine changes in marsh and upland forest lateral extent and to explore controls on marsh inland transgression. Model behavior demonstrates limited and abrupt forest retreat with long‐term upland boundary migration rates controlled by slope, sea‐level rise (SLR), high water events, and biotic‐abiotic interactions. For low to moderate upland slopes the landward marsh edge is controlled by the interaction of these inundation events and forest recovery resulting in punctuated transgressive events. As SLR rates increase, the importance of the timing and frequency of water‐level deviations diminishes, and migration rates revert back to a slope‐SLR‐dominated process.
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Carr, J.; Guntenspergen, G.; and Kirwan, Matthew L., Modeling Marsh‐Forest Boundary Transgression in Response to Storms and Sea‐Level Rise (2020). Journal of Geophysical Research Letters, 47(17), e2020GL088998.