Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Alicia Wilson

Abstract

The forest-marsh boundary, where tidally influenced salt marshes meet a forested upland, is hydrologically complex due to its multiple water inputs. Groundwater flow and salinity transport at this boundary are not well understood. In order to make predictions about salinity at this boundary as it responds to climatic factors, a two-dimensional model was built to simulate groundwater flow and solute transport at a salt marsh on Sapelo Island, Georgia. After calibration based on observed data from wells at the study site, the model can be used to identify patterns in groundwater movement and solute transport that may influence the vegetation and consequently the migration of the forest-marsh boundary. Additionally, the model is designed to be a first step toward identifying the impacts of press and pulse disturbances, such as sea level rise or drought, on the marsh.

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Geology Commons

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