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Saltmarsh analysis

Method indicator
Bottom-Up Hybrid Top-Down

Summary of key issues:

Issue Description
Description Analysis of changes in saltmarsh distribution, including erosion / accretion studies, and functioning of saltmarsh systems.
Temporal applicability Medium to long-term dependent on data availability.
Spatial applicability Estuary-wide, or specific areas of saltmarsh.
Links with other tools Can be an important component of Historical Trends Analysis and EGA.
Data sources
  • Aerial photography;
  • Satellite imagery;
  • LIDAR;
  • CASI;
  • Historic and current maps and charts;
  • Geological maps;
  • Ground-truthing.
Necessary software tools / skills Software for image analysis; appropriate ground-truthing knowledge; GIS.
Typical analyses Erosion / accretion studies, through analysis of movement of the saltmarsh edge and changes in the saltmarsh elevation.
Limitations Data availability, cost.
Example applications Saltmarsh vegetation classification and changes in saltmarsh extent in Southampton Water.

The study of saltmarsh is, in part similar to historical trend analysis, in that it can involve the analysis of maps, charts and other archives to establish how the marsh may have changed over time, and this analysis can form an important component of historical trend analysis. However, saltmarsh analysis can also entail mapping the flora and studying aspects of saltmarsh dynamics and community. Aspects such as hydrodynamics, hydrology, geochemistry and biochemistry can all influence the ecological functioning of the marsh (Gray, 1992; Packham and Willis, 1997). The marsh stability may therefore be a function of biological, chemical and physical factors, which in combination can influence how the saltmarsh interacts with the estuary geomorphology.

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Analysis and modelling

Last Modified on: 19 June 2011
Printed from the Estuary Guide on 22/05/2024 08:11:01