Great view of the Great Marsh, Cape Cod, MA
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 monitors the exchange of carbon from the marsh surface, capturing assimilation by plants and release by soil microbes to determine the net carbon storage of the marsh. Carbon burial in marsh peat is closely linked to the elevation building capacity of the marsh, a key factor determining marsh resilience to sea level rise.