Extreme Events and Coastal Wetlands

by Jeffrey Haltiner, Philip Williams & Assoc Ltd, San Francisco, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


Temporal ecosystem behavior in tidal wetlands can be static, dynamically stable, progressively changing, or subject to catastrophic change during extreme events. Catastrophic change in Pacific Coastal wetlands is most commonly the result of a large (relative to the estuary) fluvial component, capable of transporting high sediment loads. Other criteria likely to result in catastrophic change include a wetland location in a small estuary/lagoon subject to inlet closure, large wave storms, and tectonic processes. In general, catastrophic change in saltmarshes results from the rare occurrence of certain specific geomorphic or hydrologic phenomena or the joint occurrence of these, while other types of extreme events have relatively little impact.

Subject Headings: Wetlands (coastal) | Disasters and hazards | Ecosystems | Sediment transport | Estuaries | Storms | Coastal processes | Tides

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