Sedimentation vs Sea Level Rise

As sea level rises, sedimentation will be key for all wetlands to maintain current habitat configurations


Present conditions

The map above depicts present conditions in Upper Newport Bay.  Habits are dominated by salt and brackish marshes.

Sea LEvel Rise and Low Sedimentation

The map above depicts 90 cm of sea level rise (SLR) over 100 year with low sedimentation.  This SLR estimate is consistent with moderate predictions for the future.  Notice that significant expanses of marsh gets converted to mudflats (light blue color) as these area are consistently more frequently inundated by the tides.

Sea LEvel Rise and High Sedimentation

With the same amount of sea level rise as the previous map, but this time with increased sedimentation rates, you will notice that the conversion of marsh to mudflat is minimized throughout the bay.  This demonstrates that with a sufficient supply of sediment, habitats can keep pace with sea level rise.

Data courtesy of NOAA's Sea Level Rise Viewer (