Where Ocean Meets Land: Dynamic Shorelines in a Warming World

Saturday, February 19, 2011: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
101 (Washington Convention Center )
How can Stockholm be gaining land while Venice slowly drowns? Why do residents in the Louisiana bayou see their shoreline disappear, while those along the New Guinea coast observe no discernable change? Aren't we all affected by the same rising sea level? Shoreline response to global (eustatic) sea-level change is a complex balance of competing factors, many of which are defined on a regional scale. Scientists can make precise measurements of present-day eustatic change, but turning that knowledge into predictions of shoreline behavior requires a deep understanding of near-shore processes. To address this challenge, scientists are looking into the geological past to compile records of eustatic change and shoreline response over thousands to millions of years. Recent expeditions have collected cores from more than a kilometer below the seabed off the coasts of New Zealand and New Jersey and from drowned coral reefs off Tahiti. Spread across the globe and across time, these data reveal the eustatic signal masked by an overprint of regional processes. Each study improves our understanding of the range of shoreline responses we see today. This symposium will stimulate dialog between groups of scientists with different perspectives on changing shorelines. The speakers will describe the many causes of eustatic change and how they are determined, how eustatic change affects the position of the shoreline, what the next century may hold, and what options we have for adapting to it.
Charna Meth, Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Gregory S. Mountain, Rutgers University
Gregory S. Mountain, Rutgers University
Gregory S. Mountain, Rutgers University
Introduction: The What, How, and Why of Sea-Level Change
Alexander Tudhope, University of Edinburgh
Sea Level Through the Millennia: The Record from Coral Reefs
S. Jeffress Williams, U.S. Geological Survey
Sea-Level Rise in the Coming Years: Impacts to Dynamic Coasts
Margaret Davidson, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center
Preparing for the Future: Adaptive Strategies To Deal with Changing Shorelines
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