Research: Vulnerability of shallow tidal water habitats in Virginia to climate change - Information & Data Sources
To enhance possible model applications, in addition to a final report and associated coastal habitat maps illustrating potential model outputs (e.g. Tidal Marsh Vulnerability), a dedicated webpage with an interactive web-based map interface was created using ESRI ArcIMS®. The interactive tool allows the user to view current habitat distribution, modeled climate change output ,as well as all base layers used in the analyses (URL: http://ccrm.vims.edu/research/climate_change/index.html). Model output and interactive tools are not to be used for site-specific planning. They are intended to illustrate general regional trends in coastal habitat distribution and vulnerability to climate change. Once additional high resolution data become available, refinement of estimates and increased precision will become possible for future model iterations.
Coastal Habitat Map Descriptions
Shallow-Water and Tidal Wetlands - Spatial depiction of existing tidal wetland (vegetated & non-vegetated) and shallow-water habitat, with projected shifts due to sea level rise. Individual Chesapeake Bay segments are illustrated for a relative rise in sea level of 0.6 m by 2050 and 1.6 m by 2100
Tidal Marsh Vulnerability - Spatial depiction of existing tidal marsh and vulnerability to inundation from projected sea level rise within 50-100 years. Individual Chesapeake Bay segments are illustrated with tidal marsh vulnerability classifications. Marshes classified at low risk represent potential wetland preservation opportunities.
Estuarine Beach Vulnerability - Spatial depiction of existing estuarine beach and vulnerability to inundation from projected sea level rise within 50-100 years. Individual Chesapeake Bay segments are illustrated with estuarine beach vulnerability classifications. Beaches classified at low risk represent potential habitat preservation opportunities.
Submerged Aquatic Vegetation - Spatial depiction of existing submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and projected shifts due to sea level rise and elevated temperatures.
Individual Chesapeake Bay segments are illustrated for a relative rise in sea level of 0.6 m by 2050 and 1.6 m by 2100. SAV beds in Polyhaline (PH) segments are predominantly comprised of eelgrass, which have known susceptibility to elevated temperatures. Therefore, these segment illustrations depict projected loss of eelgrass from the combination of sea level rise and elevated temperature (1, 3 and 6ºC). Note: increases in summertime temperatures of 6ºC result in complete loss of eelgrass.
Vulnerable Developed Lands - Spatial depiction of existing developed lands and vulnerability to inundation from projected sea level rise. Individual Chesapeake Bay segments are illustrated for a relative rise in sea level of 0.6 m by 2050 and 1.6 m by 2100.
For maps and analyses using Shoreline Inventory Data (CCRM-VIMS):
’Developed’ riparian lands include the following land uses: Residential, commercial, military, educational (schools), paved, bare, industrial and timbered
Shoreline hardening or armoring includes the following alterations: Bulkhead (seawall), dilapidated bulkhead, marina, riprap revetment, wharf, miscellaneous/unconventional /debris– e.g. broken concrete rubble
Map Data Sources:
- Tidal Marshes – Tidal Marsh Inventory (TMI)
- Shoreline condition & Riparian land use – VIMS-CCRM Shoreline Inventory
- Beaches – VIMS-CCRM Shoreline Inventory & VIMS Shoreline Studies Survey
- Submerged Aquatic Vegetation – VIMS SAV monitoring Program
- Shallow Water - VIMS-CCRM Seamless 3-d topographic/bathymetric elevation surface
- Imagery – Virginia Base Mapping Program (VBMP, Preliminary Imagery 2009)
Note: For some Chesapeake Bay Segments, habitat composition estimates do not include all headwater habitats. Therefore, in some cases reported habitat quantity may be underestimated.