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Webinar Invitation: Updated SLAMM Model for California Estuaries

Started by Jonathan S. Clough, July 26, 2016, 12:29:35 PM

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Jonathan S. Clough

Dear Colleague,

We are pleased to announce a webinar to present the results of our updated Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) to work more effectively in California Estuaries.

This webinar is open to the public so we encourage you to share the link to thee webinar (below) widely with any interested colleagues.

Project Overview

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) funded Warren Pinnacle Consulting Inc. (WPC) and Environmental Science Associates (ESA) to collaborate with us on an initial phase to revise SLAMM for California estuaries by updating the habitat classifications, conceptual models, and decision tree pathways for multiple types of California estuaries including seasonally closed.

The Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) ( ) has proven useful in other geographies to assess the vulnerability of coastal habitats to sea level rise and to identify marsh migration pathways. Its relative simplicity and modest data requirements allow application at a reasonable cost. SLAMM uses topography and parameterized physical conditions to predict the evolution of marsh habitats in response to sea level rise. The model does this by traversing a decision tree simulating changes in tidal marsh area and habitat type in response to long-term sea-level rise by accounting for five dominant processes involved in wetland conversion: inundation, erosion, overwash, saturation, and accretion. The model uses a complex decision tree that incorporates both geometric and qualitative relationships to model habitat conversions in coastal habitats through spatial relationships (e.g. adjacency, elevation). The decision tree was developed for the Georgia and South Carolina coasts and therefore works well for East and Gulf Coast estuaries.

However, until now SLAMM has not had the correct habitat types, physical processes, or decision tree pathways to properly model marsh transitions in response to sea level rise for many West Coast estuaries.

We drew from the Inventory and Classification of West Coast Estuaries to develop this SLAMM update for the three different Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS) estuarine classes: Embayment, Riverine, and Lagoonal. For this, "Phase I," we developed physical conceptual models, ecological conceptual models and decision tree pathways to be incorporated into SLAMM to model marsh response to sea level rise for each of these classes of California estuaries. We used best available data from representative California estuaries to explore relationships between GIS data inputs into SLAMM to help develop our physical and ecological conceptual models and decision tree pathways. We worked closely with NWI and other experts to crosswalk NWI categorization into SLAMM habitats. We also received great peer-review across expertise to improve our update to SLAMM to work for California estuaries. As a result, SLAMM 6.7 works for the great diversity in estuary type and morphology found along California's diverse coast. Other updates included in the new versions of SLAMM include: editable sea level rise curves, "Run-record" file, improved modeling of marsh erosion, and quantification of carbon sequestration for different scenarios.

We look forward to presenting these and other updates to SLAMM to you in the webinar 9:30-11:00 a.m. PST, Thursday July 28, 2016.

Webinar info is below please allow time to download any software plug-ins necessary.


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