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Storm sediment contribution to salt marsh accretion and expansion

Pannozzo, N, Leonardi, N, Carnacina, I and Smedley, RK (2023) Storm sediment contribution to salt marsh accretion and expansion. Geomorphology, 430. ISSN 0169-555X

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Salt marshes are ecosystems with significant economic and environmental value. However, the accelerating rate of sea-level rise is a significant threat to these ecosystems. Storms significantly contribute to the sediment budget of salt marshes, playing a critical role in salt marsh survival to sea-level rise. There are, however, uncertainties on the extent to which storms contribute sediments to different areas of marsh platforms (e.g., outer marsh vs marsh interior) and on the sediment sources that storms draw on (e.g., offshore vs nearshore). This study uses field analyses from an eight-month field campaign in the Ribble Estuary, North-West England, to understand storms' influence on the sediment supply to different marsh areas and whether storms can deliver new material onto the salt marsh platform which would otherwise not be sourced in fair-weather conditions. Field data from sediment traps indicate that storm activity caused an increase in inorganic sediment supply to the whole salt marsh platform, especially benefitting the marsh interior. Geochemistry and particle size distribution analysis indicate that the majority of the sediment supplied to the salt marsh platform during the stormy periods was generated by an increase in erosion and resuspension of mudflat and tidal creek sediments, while only a minimal contribution was given by the sediments transported from outside the intertidal system. This suggests that, in the long term, storms will promote salt marsh vertical accretion but might simultaneously reduce the overall larger-scale sediment availability with implications for the marsh lateral retreat.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0403 Geology; 0406 Physical Geography and Environmental Geoscience; Geography
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
T Technology > TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
Divisions: Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Publisher: Elsevier
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2023 15:34
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2023 15:45
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2023.108670
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21894
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