Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Conceptual marsh units for Cape Cod National Seashore salt marsh complex, Massachusetts

March 6, 2019

The salt marsh complex of Cape Cod National Seashore (CACO), Massachusetts, USA and approximal wetlands were delineated to smaller, conceptual marsh units by geoprocessing of surface elevation data. Flow accumulation based on the relative elevation of each location is used to determine the ridge lines that separate each marsh unit while the surface slope is used to automatically assign each unit a drainage point, where water is expected to drain through. Through scientific efforts initiated with the Hurricane Sandy Science Plan, the U.S. Geological Survey has been expanding national assessment of coastal change hazards and forecast products to coastal wetlands. The intent is to provide federal, state, and local managers with tools to estimate their vulnerability and ecosystem service potential. For this purpose, the response and resilience of coastal wetlands to physical factors need to be assessed in terms of the ensuing change to their vulnerability and ecosystem services. CACO is one of the selected domains to expand this study.