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Water & Energy Cycles

Coastal wetlands are economically vital as fish and shellfish nurseries; they filter contaminated water flows and mitigate the impact of storm surge on life and property. Saltwater flooding of coastal marshes by storm surge, rising sea level, and subsidence is a primary cause of wetland deterioration and habitat loss. We propose to use remote sensing for the assessment of coastal marsh flooding and saltwater stress. Our objective is to provide resource managers with remote sensing products that support ecosystem forecasting models requiring salinity and inundation data. Specifically, the proposed work supports the habitat-switching modules in the Coastal Louisiana Ecosystem Assessment and Restoration model, which provides scientific evaluation for restoration management. The habitat-switching module simulates shifts in vegetative community type given long-term shifts in salinity and inundation due to restoration projects. We propose to use MODIS-derived time-series indices, resolution-enhanced by Landsat, to map flooding and saltwater stress; to use RADARSAT to map water levels and salinity; and to use Landsat to map salinity. We will collaborate with the U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Research Center and the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. This project aligns with the following priority issues identified within the first Gulf of Mexico Alliance Governors’ Action Plan for Healthy and Resilient Coasts: Water Quality for Healthy Beaches and Shellfish Beds; Identification and Characterization of Gulf Habitats; and Wetland and Coastal Conservation and Restoration. Furthermore, the project will contribute to the priority issues of Water Quality Monitoring, Ecosystem Integration and Assessment, and Habitat Conservation and Restoration described in GOMA actions for 2009 and beyond. This project also contributes to the Ecological Forecasting program element of the NASA Applied Sciences Program by providing a remote sensing-based forecast of biodiversity change (marsh species) through changes in species distribution and/or abundance.

Project PI: Maria Kalcic/Science Systems and Applications, Inc.

Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Bldg. 1105 John C. Stennis Space Center, MS 39529 USA

Phone: 228-688-1133

Email: maria.t.kalcic@nasa.gov

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3 members

Started: Sep 27, 2010

Last Activity: Mar 16, 2011

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