WELCOME TO THE
led by Duncan FitzGerald
ENHANCED CLIMATE-DRIVEN SEDIMENTATION ON SALT MARSHES
We found that a single storm in 2018 moved ice onto a New England salt marsh from nearby bays and creeks, carrying the equivalent of 15 years of average mineral sediment deposition across the entire marsh. Salt marshes maintain elevation with rising sea level, in part, by trapping mud and sand. The storm deposit that we observed was a consequence of prolonged ice formation followed by a strong nor'easter coinciding with a very high tide. During the period of extended low temperatures, ice formed in shallow water, and mud and sand froze to its base at low tide. The cold spell combined with very low tides meant that the ice was especially thick and laden with sediment when the storm moved it on to the marsh. Recent studies suggest that climate change may increase the likelihood of extreme cold spells in winter in the northern hemisphere and nor'easters may strengthen. If these conditions persist, the amount of sediment added during winter to salt marshes in northern high latitudes (which is almost half of global marshes) may increase, helping salt marshes to be more resilient to sea-level rise.
Fitzgerald, DM., Z.J. Hughes, I.Y. Georgiou, S. Black, and A. Novak. 2020. Enhanced climate-driven sedimentation on salt marshes. Geophysical Research Letters. doi.org/10.1029/2019GL086737
DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION.
We believe that building and sustaining a vibrant community of scholars, students, and staff is essential to contributing to, and preparing students to thrive in, an increasingly interconnected world.
We strive to create environments for learning, working, and living that are enriched by racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. We seek to cultivate an atmosphere of respect for individual differences in life experience, sexual orientation, and religious belief, and we aspire to be free of intellectual parochialism, barriers to access, and ethnocentrism.
We are commited to welcoming and engaging the wisdom, creativity, and aspirations of all peoples.
Our lab acknowledges that the territory on which Boston University stands is that of The Massachusett, Wampanoag and Nipmuc People. Our field sites and BU’s campus are places to honor and respect the history and continued efforts of the Native and Indigenous communities of Eastern Massachusetts and the surrounding region. This statement is one small step in acknowledging the history that brought us to reside on the land and to help us seek an understanding of our place within that history. Ownership of land is itself a colonial concept; many tribes had seasonal relationships with the land we currently inhabit. Today, Boston is still home to indigenous peoples, including the Massachusett of Ponkapoag, the Praying Indians of Natick (Massachusett-Nipmuc), the Mashpee Wampanoag, the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and tribes of the Nipmuc Nation. For more information, please visit the North American Indian Center of Boston and the Commission on Indian Affairs of the State of Massachusetts.