Marsh lateral shoreline erosion and shore-proximal sediment deposition
Salt marshes provide important economic and ecologic services but are vulnerable to habitat loss, particularly due to shoreline erosion from storms and sea level rise. Sediments eroded at the marsh edge are either delivered onto the marsh platform or into the estuary, the latter resulting in a net loss to the marsh sediment budget and released soil carbon. Knowledge on the timing, distance, and quantity of sediment deposition versus shoreline erosion along the marsh-estuary interface is critical for evaluating the overall health and vulnerability of coastal marshes to future scenarios of sea level rise and storms. This image is a depiction of what happens to sediments as they are eroded at the marsh edge, delivered into the estuary and onto the marsh platform, leading to a higher marsh platform elevation at the marsh shoreline, but loss of wetland habitat area at the eroding shoreline edge.