Year

2011

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (Honours)

ANZSRC / FoR Code

160403 Social and Cultural Geography

Department

School of Earth & Environmental Sciences

Abstract

A Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was constructed using LiDAR and high precision GPS data collected from the site. This was used as the basis for the creation of statistical and spatial models exploring the relationship between surface elevation dynamics, water level changes and mangrove encroachment of saltmarsh. These models projected wetland surface elevation and vegetation distributions in accordance with IPCC projections of sealevel rise. The models indicated that coastal wetlands at Minnamurra are highly vulnerable to future sea-level rise. Using the highest IPCC sea-level rise scenario, the models showed a significant loss of saltmarsh in the next 40 years and loss of mangrove communities by the end of the century. It is recommended that future adaptation policy and management focuses on groundwater regulation in the catchment and the introduction or extension of buffer zones.

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