Seminar: Christopher Sommerfield, University of Delaware – School of Marine Science and Policy
March 28 @ 3:35 pm - 4:35 pm
UNC-CH Department of Marine Sciences’ is proud to host a seminar by guest speaker Christopher Sommerfield PhD.
Title: Mechanisms of Marsh Accretion and Carbon Burial in the Delaware Estuary
Abstract: Tidal marshes of estuaries and deltas trap much of the suspended particulate matter delivered by rivers and consequently are important sites of coastal plain sedimentation and organic carbon sequestration. Despite advances in our knowledge of salt marsh morphodynamics, we lack a general understanding of marsh responses to marine transgression and related changes in hydrodynamics, sediment supply, and topography. In this presentation these concepts are illustrated by a case study of the Delaware Estuary, using radiometrically determined sediment accumulation rates measured for the full range of tidal freshwater, brackish, and salt marshes. The dataset is used to explore longstanding paradigms in marsh sedimentation and carbon burial related to vegetation type and hydrogeomorphology. The particular geo-ecological setting of Delaware Estuary provides space-for-time substitution that is instructive for exploring marsh sedimentary processes on transgressive coasts.