Geomorphic Processes and Stability of Coastal Wetlands

by Jonathan D. Phillips, Pamlico-Tar River Foundation, Washington, DC, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '85


Theoretical stability analyses of coastal wetland systems typically show that the key determinant of stability is the rate of operation of geomorphic processes. This implies that if the rates of operation of natural processes, if not the processes themselves, are altered, then instability of the wetlands will result. In an unstable system, changes in any component can result in alteration of the basic character of the system. Unstable coastal wetlands are extremely vulnerable to loss or degradation.

Subject Headings: Coastal processes | Wetlands (coastal) | Chemical degradation | Drainage | Ecological restoration | Wetlands (fresh water) | Geomorphology | Salts

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