Surveying season is now officially here for the Clark Alexander lab. After the successful completion of Wassaw Sound last year, Mike Robinson, Claudia Venherm and Lee Ann DeLeo will be surveying Ossabaw Sound for bathymetry and benthic habitat this summer.
During June, the lab team (Alexander, Jennifer Colley, Robinson, Venherm) were busy on Sapelo Island working within the context of the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems – Long Term Ecosystem Research (GCE-LTER) program. They collected cores near sediment-elevation monitoring sites to compare seasonal/annual sediment accumulation rates to 100-y average rates.
“This comparison highlights the relative importance of daily and episodic sediment input to marsh accretion,” Alexander said. “In addition, we probed and augered transects from the upland out into the marsh to gather stratigraphic information for an upland runoff manipulation experiment.”
This experiment will modify the flow of groundwater from the upland to the marsh over a period of years to detect changes in salt marsh community structure, as a proxy for drought and development impacts to natural groundwater flows.