Science Center Objects

Petaluma marsh is located along the Petaluma River and covers 81 hectares. We surveyed 655 elevation points and 357 vegetation plots to determine baseline conditions of the marsh. Water level loggers deployed in 2010 were used to characterize the tidal inundation patterns throughout the year. Sediment accretion rates from soil cores were used as input for the WARMER sea-level rise response model. WARMER projects that by 2050 Petaluma marsh will be dominated by low marsh vegetation and will transition into mudflat habitat by 2080. 

Petaluma marsh is located along the Petaluma River and covers 81 hectares. We surveyed 655 elevation points and 357 vegetation plots to determine baseline conditions of the marsh. Water level loggers deployed in 2010 were used to characterize the tidal inundation patterns throughout the year. Sediment accretion rates from soil cores were used as input for the WARMER sea-level rise response model. WARMER projects that by 2050 Petaluma marsh will be dominated by low marsh vegetation and will transition into mudflat habitat by 2080. 

PETALUMA MARSH

WERC Petaluma Marsh study area
(Public domain.)
WERC Petaluma Marsh Figures
The elevation histogram for Petaluma Marsh shows the marsh platform is above MHW on average (Fig. 1). Data from the vegetation surveys indicate moderate species richness (Fig. 2). Results from WARMER response model indicate that Petaluma will lose relative elevation as sea levels rise (Fig. 3). The marsh platform at Petaluma Marsh is projected to transition to low marsh habitat by 2050 and be below mean sea level by 2080 (Fig. 4). The percent of time Petaluma Marsh is inundated varies throughout the year by season, with the most inundation during the winter (Fig. 5). (Public domain.)
WERC Petaluma Marsh WARMER results
(Public domain.)

To download the Petaluma PDF Summary Report (Petaluma appendix from USGS Open-File Report Final report for sea-level rise response modeling for San Francisco Bay estuary tidal marshes):