skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Palinkas, Cindy M."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    Feedbacks between sediment and plants in the submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV) beds of the Susquehanna Flats help modulate sediment delivery into the upper Chesapeake Bay from its major tributary (Susquehanna River). Recent modeling work has shown that SAV can steer the river plume, directly controlling sediment transport and fate. However, transport mechanisms likely differ between flood and non‐flood conditions and depend on event timing. An opportunity to evaluate these insights in the field occurred with several flood events in summer 2018. Sediment and biomass samples were collected after the flood in the large, continuous main SAV bed of the Flats and in smaller patches to the west of the main bed to evaluate the effect of SAV bed size (width). Sediment characteristics (grain size, organic content) and deposition rates were compared to previous observations during non‐flood conditions in the main bed in 2014–2015 and in the smaller patches in 2019. Overall, sediment deposition rates could be predicted by an empirical model including sediment load, vegetation biomass, and SAV bed width, reflecting the role of vegetation in steering the Susquehanna River plume and modulating sediment input to the upper Chesapeake Bay. Understanding spatiotemporal patterns of sedimentation is essential for realistic estimates of sediment and nutrient (especially nitrogen and carbon) storage in freshwater SAV systems, which have not received as much attention as their saltwater counterparts.

    more » « less
  2. Rising sea levels and the increased frequency of extreme events put coastal communities at serious risk. In response, shoreline armoring for stabilization has been widespread. However, this solution does not take the ecological aspects of the coasts into account. The “living shoreline” technique includes coastal ecology by incorporating natural habitat features, such as saltmarshes, into shoreline stabilization. However, the impacts of living shorelines on adjacent benthic communities, such as submersed aquatic vegetation (SAV), are not yet clear. In particular, while both marshes and SAV trap the sediment necessary for their resilience to environmental change, the synergies between the communities are not well-understood. To help quantify the ecological and protective (shoreline stabilization) aspects of living shorelines, we presented modeling results using the Delft3D-SWAN system on sediment transport between the created saltmarshes of the living shorelines and adjacent SAV in a subestuary of Chesapeake Bay. We used a double numerical approach to primarily validate deposition measurements made in the field and to further quantify the sediment balance between the two vegetation communities using an idealized model. This model used the same numerical domain with different wave heights, periods, and basin slopes and includes the presence of rip-rap, which is often used together with marsh plantings in living shorelines, to look at the influences of artificial structures on the sediment exchange between the plant communities. The results of this study indicated lower shear stress, lower erosion rates, and higher deposition rates within the SAV bed compared with the scenario with the marsh only, which helped stabilize bottom sediments by making the sediment balance positive in case of moderate wave climate (deposition within the two vegetations higher than the sediment loss). The presence of rip-rap resulted in a positive sediment balance, especially in the case of extreme events, where sediment balance was magnified. Overall, this study concluded that SAV helps stabilize bed level and shoreline, and rip-rap works better with extreme conditions, demonstrating how the right combination of natural and built solutions can work well in terms of ecology and coastal protection. 
    more » « less