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Effect of rising sea level on runoff and groundwater discharge to coastal ecosystems

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

By:
and
DOI: 10.1016/S0272-7714(05)80106-4

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Abstract

Rising sea level can cause an increase in surface runoff from coastal areas by raising the watertable and thus increasing the incidence of saturated soil conditions in low-lying areas. As surface runoff increases, less rainfall will infiltrate into the ground and groundwater discharge to the coast will decrease. The link between sea level rise and runoff is critically dependent on the sensitivity of surface runoff to changes in the elevation of the watertable. A significant relation between the two is demonstrated for a coastal watershed on Cape Cod, where it is estimated that a 10 cm rise in the watertable will increase surface runoff by 70% and decrease groundwater discharge by 20%. Effects on near-shore ecosystems include changes in nutrient fluxes and in the salinity of the sediments.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Effect of rising sea level on runoff and groundwater discharge to coastal ecosystems
Series title:
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
DOI:
10.1016/S0272-7714(05)80106-4
Volume
34
Year Published:
1992
Language:
English
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
203-212
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
First page:
203
Last page:
212
Number of Pages:
10