Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 483–493

Sustainability of Mediterranean Deltaic and Lagoon Wetlands with Sea-Level Rise: The Importance of River Input

  • John Day
  • Carles Ibáñez
  • Francesco Scarton
  • Didier Pont
  • Philippe Hensel
  • Jason Day
  • Robert Lane
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12237-011-9390-x

Cite this article as:
Day, J., Ibáñez, C., Scarton, F. et al. Estuaries and Coasts (2011) 34: 483. doi:10.1007/s12237-011-9390-x

Abstract

We report on a decadal trend of accretionary dynamics in the wetlands of several northwestern Mediterranean deltas and a lagoon system, all of them with high rates of wetland loss. Wetland vertical accretion and surface elevation change were measured at 55 riverine, marine, and impounded sites in four coastal systems: the Ebro delta, Spain; the Rhône delta, France; and the Po delta and Venice Lagoon, Italy. Vertical accretion and elevation change ranged between 0 and 25 mm year−1 and were strongly correlated. The highest rates of elevation gain occurred at riverine sites where vertical accretion was highest. We conclude that areas with high sediment input, mainly riverine, are the only ones likely to survive accelerated sea-level rise, especially if recent higher estimates of 1 m or more in the twenty-first century prove to be accurate. This is the first study where the importance of river input on wetland survival has been demonstrated at a decadal time scale over a broad geographical area.

Keywords

DeltasSediment inputFlood pulseSea-level riseMediterranean wetlands

Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Day
    • 1
  • Carles Ibáñez
    • 2
  • Francesco Scarton
    • 3
  • Didier Pont
    • 4
  • Philippe Hensel
    • 5
  • Jason Day
    • 1
  • Robert Lane
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences, School of the Coast and EnvironmentLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Aquatic Ecosystems ProgramIRTACataloniaSpain
  3. 3.SELC Società per l’Ecologia delle Lagune e delle Coste soc. coop.VeneziaItaly
  4. 4.Hydrosystems and Bioprocesses Research Unit (HBAN)CEMAGREFAntony CedexFrance
  5. 5.NOAA National Geodetic SurveySilver SpringUSA