Science Center Objects
Coastal Environmental Geochemistry research at the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center spans multiple ecosystems and topics, including coastal wetlands, aquifers, and estuaries, with the goal of providing data and guidance to federal, state, local, and private land owners and managers on these vital ecosystems.
Below are other science projects associated with this project.
Date published: November 8, 2018Status: Active
Tidal wetlands are key ecosystems because they are unique ecological systems that provide essential habitat for fish, shellfish, birds and other fauna and flora, many of which have great economic importance. At the same time, tidal wetlands provide critical services to society by serving as a physical barrier between our cities, roads and homes and the rising sea. If healthy and properly...
Date published: November 8, 2018Status: Active
The interface between groundwater and the coastal or intertidal landscape determines the location and migration path of fresh and saline wetlands. These ecosystems interact with the coastal ocean in many ways, much of which is driven by tidal exchange and groundwater discharge, both common coastal processes that deliver water, nutrients, and other materials to nearshore ecosystems, including...
Date published: November 8, 2018Status: Active
The challenge of wetland persistence is complicated by widespread management and alteration of wetland hydrology, and built infrastructure within migration corridors. Human development and utilization of coastal landscapes in the U.S. during the past several centuries has resulted in loss of approximately half of tidal wetland area, largely due to 1) restriction of tidal flows, through...
Below are publications associated with this project.
Year Published: 2019
Salt marsh ecosystem restructuring enhances elevation resilience and carbon storage during accelerating relative sea-level rise
Salt marshes respond to sea-level rise through a series of complex and dynamic bio-physical feedbacks. In this study, we found that sea-level rise triggered salt marsh habitat restructuring, with the associated vegetation changes enhancing salt marsh elevation resilience. A continuous record of marsh elevation...Gonneea, Meagan; Maio, Christopher V.; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Hawkes, Andrea D.; Mora, Jordan; Sullivan, Richard; Madsen, Stephanie; Buzard, Richard M.; Cahill, Niamh; Donnelly, Jeffrey P.
Natural climate solutions for the United States
Limiting climate warming to <2°C requires increased mitigation efforts, including land stewardship, whose potential in the United States is poorly understood. We quantified the potential of natural climate solutions (NCS)—21 conservation, restoration, and improved land management interventions on natural and agricultural lands—to increase...Fargione, Joseph E.; Bassett, Steven; Boucher, Timothy; Bridgham, Scott D.; Conant, Richard T.; Cook-Patton, Susan C.; Ellis, Peter W.; Falcucci, Alessandra; Fourqurean, James W.; Gopalakrishna, Trisha; Gu, Huan; Henderson, Benjamin; Hurteau, Matthew D.; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Kroeger, Timm; Lark, Tyler J.; Leavitt, Sara M.; Lomax, Guy; McDonald, Robert I.; Megonigal, Patrick; Miteva, Daniela A.; Richardson, Curtis J.; Sanderman, Jonathan; Shoch, David; Spawn, Seth A.; Veldman, Joseph W.; Williams, Christopher A.; Woodbury, Peter B.; Zganjar, Chris; Baranski, Marci; Elias, Patricia; Houghton, Richard A.; Landis, Emily; McGlynn, Emily; Schlesinger, William H.; Siikamaki, Juha V.; Sutton-Grier, Ariana; Griscom, Bronson W.
Deciphering the dynamics of inorganic carbon export from intertidal salt marshes using high-frequency measurements
The lateral export of carbon from coastal marshes via tidal exchange is a key component of the marsh carbon budget and coastal carbon cycles. However, the magnitude of this export has been difficult to accurately quantify due to complex tidal dynamics and seasonal cycling of carbon. In this study, we use in situ...Chu, Sophie N.; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck; Gonneea, Meagan; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Ganju, Neil Kamal
Geochemical conditions and nitrogen transport in nearshore groundwater and the subterranean estuary at a Cape Cod embayment, East Falmouth, Massachusetts, 2013–14
Nitrogen transport and transformation were studied during 2013 to 2014 by the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in a subterranean estuary beneath onshore locations on the Seacoast Shores peninsula, a residential area in Falmouth, Massachusetts, served by septic systems and cesspools, and adjacent...Colman, John A.; LeBlanc, Denis R.; Böhlke, John K.; McCobb, Timothy D.; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Belaval, Marcel; Cambareri, Thomas C.; Pirolli, Gillian F.; Brooks, T. Wallace; Garren, Mary E.; Stover, Tobias B.; Keeley, Ann
Carbon budget of tidal wetlands, estuaries, and shelf waters of eastern North America
Carbon cycling in the coastal zone affects global carbon budgets and is critical for understanding the urgent issues of hypoxia, acidification, and tidal wetland loss. However, there are no regional carbon budgets spanning the three main ecosystems in coastal waters: tidal wetlands, estuaries, and shelf waters. Here we construct such a budget for...Najjar, R.G.; Herrmann, M.; Alexander, Richard B.; Boyer, E.W.; Burdige, D. J.; Butman, D.; Cai, W.-J.; Canuel, E.A.; Chen, R.F.; Friedrichs, M. A. M.; Feagin, R.A.; Griffith, P. C.; Hinson, A.L.; Holmquist, J.R.; Hu, X.; Kemp, W.M.; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Mannino, A.; McCallister, S.L.; McGillis, W.R.; Mulholland, M.R.; Pilskaln, C. H.; Salisbury, J.; Signorini, S. R.; St. Laurent, P.; Tian, H.; Tzortziou, M; Vlahos, P.; Wang, Z. A.; Zimmerman, R. C.
The magnitude and origin of groundwater discharge to eastern U.S. and Gulf of Mexico coastal waters
Fresh groundwater discharge to coastal environments contributes to the physical and chemical conditions of coastal waters, but the role of coastal groundwater at regional to continental scales remains poorly defined due to diverse hydrologic conditions and the difficulty of tracking coastal groundwater flow paths through heterogeneous subsurface...Befus, Kevin; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Smith, Christopher G.; Swarzenski, Peter W.
Restoring tides to reduce methane emissions in impounded wetlands: A new and potent Blue Carbon climate change intervention
Coastal wetlands are sites of rapid carbon (C) sequestration and contain large soil C stocks. Thus, there is increasing interest in those ecosystems as sites for anthropogenic greenhouse gas emission offset projects (sometimes referred to as “Blue Carbon”), through preservation of existing C stocks or creation of new wetlands to increase future...Kroeger, Kevin D.; Crooks, Stephen; Moseman-Valtierra, Serena; Tang, Jianwu
Depth of the vadose zone controls aquifer biogeochemical conditions and extent of anthropogenic nitrogen removal
We investigated biogeochemical conditions and watershed features controlling the extent of nitrate removal through microbial dinitrogen (N2) production within the surficial glacial aquifer located on the north and south shores of Long Island, NY, USA. The extent of N2 production differs within portions of the aquifer, with greatest N2 ...Szymczycha, Beata; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Crusius, John; Bratton, John F.
Relationship between water and aragonite barium concentrations in aquaria reared juvenile corals
Coral barium to calcium (Ba/Ca) ratios have been used to reconstruct records of upwelling, river and groundwater discharge, and sediment and dust input to the coastal ocean. However, this proxy has not yet been explicitly tested to determine if Ba inclusion in the coral skeleton is directly proportional to seawater Ba concentration and to further...Gonneea, Meagan; Cohen, Anne L.; DeCarlo, Thomas M.; Charette, Matthew A.
Twentieth century warming of the tropical Atlantic captured by Sr-U paleothermometry
Coral skeletons are valuable archives of past ocean conditions. However, interpretation of coral paleotemperature records is confounded by uncertainties associated with single-element ratio thermometers, including Sr/Ca. A new approach, Sr-U, uses U/Ca to constrain the influence of Rayleigh fractionation on Sr/Ca. Here we build on the initial...Alpert, Alice E.; Cohen, Anne L.; Oppo, Delia W.; DeCarlo, Thomas M.; Gaetani, Glenn A.; Hernandez-Delgado, Edwin A.; Winter, Amos; Gonneea, Meagan
Temperature response of soil respiration largely unaltered with experimental warming
The respiratory release of carbon dioxide (CO2) from soil is a major yet poorly understood flux in the global carbon cycle. Climatic warming is hypothesized to increase rates of soil respiration, potentially fueling further increases in global temperatures. However, despite considerable scientific attention in recent decades, the overall response...Carey, Joanna C.; Tang, Jianwu; Templer, Pamela H.; Kroeger, Kevin D.; Crowther, Thomas W.; Burton, Andrew J.; Dukes, Jeffrey S.; Emmett, Bridget; Frey, Serita D.; Heskel, Mary A.; Jiang, Lifen; Machmuller, Megan B.; Mohan, Jacqueline; Panetta, Anne Marie; Reich, Peter B.; Reinsch, Sabine; Wang, Xin; Allison, Steven D.; Bamminger, Chris; Bridgham, Scott D.; Collins, Scott L.; de Dato, Giovanbattista; Eddy, William C.; Enquist, Brian J.; Estiarte, Marc; Harte, John; Henderson, Amanda; Johnson, Bart R.; Steenberg Larsen, Klaus; Luo, Yiqi; Marhan, Sven; Melillo, Jerry M.; Penuelas, Josep; Pfeifer-Meister, Laurel; Poll, Christian; Rastetter, Edward B.; Reinmann, Andrew B.; Reynolds, Lorien L.; Schmidt, Inger K.; Shaver, Gaius R.; Strong, Aaron L.; Suseela, Vidya; Tietema, Albert
Carbon dioxide fluxes reflect plant zonation and belowground biomass in a coastal marsh
Coastal wetlands are major global carbon sinks; however, they are heterogeneous and dynamic ecosystems. To characterize spatial and temporal variability in a New England salt marsh, greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes were compared among major plant‐defined zones during growing seasons. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) fluxes were compared in two...Moseman-Valtierra, Serena; Abdul-Aziz, Omar I.; Tang, Jianwu; Ishtiaq, Khandker S.; Morkeski, Kate; Mora, Jordan; Quinn, Ryan K.; Martin, Rose M.; Egan, Katharine; Brannon, Elizabeth Q.; Carey, Joanna C.; Kroeger, Kevin D.
Observations of nearshore groundwater discharge: Kahekili Beach Park submarine springs, Maui, Hawaii
Study regionThe study region encompasses the nearshore, coastal waters off west Maui, Hawaii. Here abundant groundwater—that carries with it a strong land-based fingerprint—discharges into the coastal waters and over a coral reef.Study focusCoastal groundwater discharge is a ubiquitous hydrologic feature that has been shown to impact nearshore...Swarzenski, Peter W.; Dulai, H.; Kroeger, K.D.; Smith, C.G.; Dimova, N.; Storlazzi, C. D.; Prouty, N.G.; Gingerich, S.B.; Glenn, C. R.
Below are data or web applications associated with this project.
Date published: April 6, 2018
Collection, analysis, and age-dating of sediment cores from salt marshes on the south shore of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, from 2013 through 2014
Elevation of the marsh surface was measured with RTK-GPS to evaluate where the marsh falls within the current tidal frame. The historic marsh surface elevation was then reconstructed using the calculated age of each depth interval and its elevation, assuming that elevations within this shallow zone (less than 30 cm) have been preserved for the past century.
Below are multimedia items associated with this project.
Meagan Gonneea checks on instruments at a tidal creek in Great Pond, Falmouth, MA. Daily tides drive exchange between coastal wetlands and adjacent estuaries. Here we have instrumented a tidal channel to measure those fluxes over a tidal cycle. When the marsh floods, material is imported from the estuary. Biogeochemical cycles within the wetland, driven by plants and...
USGS scientists, along with collaborators from the Marine Biological Laboratory, deployed a carbon flux tower on Great Marsh in 2017. Great Marsh is a 3800 acre salt marsh complex behind the Sandy Neck barrier beach in Barnstable, Cape Cod. This ecosystem is home to a variety of animals, including deer, fox, owls, and the rare Diamondback terrapin. The carbon flux tower...
USGS Research Scientist, Meagan Gonneea, talking about the differences between coastal salt marshes and invasive phragmites at the 2017 Woods Hole Science Stroll outreach event
Jen Suttles,Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center, collects water samples from a salt marsh tidal creek (East Falmouth, MA) for laboratory analysis of total organic carbon. These samples will be compared to data recorded by instrumentation deployed in an adjacent tidal creek as part of research efforts to quantify carbon dynamics in coastal ecosystems
Meagan Gonneea, Mendenhall Postdoc, and Kelly Sanks, intern with the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT), are deep in a wetland vegetated by a tall wetland reed known as phragmites. They are looking for a good location to collect a sediment core. This phragmites wetland was once a salt marsh, but transportation infrastructure built in the early 20th century...
Sunset at Sage Lot Pond Salt Marsh Observatory marks the end of 16 hour field effort. During this sampling, USGS researchers captured the exchange of materials between the marsh and estuary. This field site provides infrastructure to keep sensors deployed nearly year-round so changes across seasons and extreme events, such as large storms, are captured. The boardwalk...
High tides are one challenge of working in tidal wetlands! Here the marsh platform is completely submerged during a spring tide. The boardwalk, which scientists use to access the site, is also under water during this extreme high tide, while the solar panels powering some instruments remain dry. Sensors are deployed in the tidal creek to measure the water chemistry and...
USGS and collaborators from Marine Biological Laboratory and Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve building research infrastructure at a salt marsh field site (Cape Cod, MA).