Journal Article


Timothy A. Shaw
Robert E. Kopp
Matthew Kirwan
Niamh Cahill
Sarah L. Bradley
Ian Shennan
Benjamin P. Horton



vulnerability future holocene evolution probability great britain relative sea level england

Predicting marsh vulnerability to sea-level rise using Holocene relative sea-level data (2018)

Abstract Tidal marshes rank among Earth’s vulnerable ecosystems, which will retreat if future rates of relative sea-level rise (RSLR) exceed marshes’ ability to accrete vertically. Here, we assess the limits to marsh vulnerability by analyzing >780 Holocene reconstructions of tidal marsh evolution in Great Britain. These reconstructions include both transgressive (tidal marsh retreat) and regressive (tidal marsh expansion) contacts. The probability of a marsh retreat was conditional upon Holocene rates of RSLR, which varied between −7.7 and 15.2 mm/yr. Holocene records indicate that marshes are nine times more likely to retreat than expand when RSLR rates are ≥7.1 mm/yr. Coupling estimated probabilities of marsh retreat with projections of future RSLR suggests a major risk of tidal marsh loss in the twenty-first century. All of Great Britain has a >80% probability of a marsh retreat under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 by 2100, with areas of southern and eastern England achieving this probability by 2040.
Collections Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Type = Article
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Academic Unit = Faculty of Science and Engineering: Research Institutes: Hamilton Institute
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Status = Published
Ireland -> Maynooth University -> Academic Unit = Faculty of Science and Engineering: Mathematics and Statistics

Full list of authors on original publication

Timothy A. Shaw, Robert E. Kopp, Matthew Kirwan, Niamh Cahill, Sarah L. Bradley, Ian Shennan, Benjamin P. Horton

Experts in our system

Niamh Cahill
Maynooth University
Total Publications: 16
Benjamin P. Horton
Maynooth University
Total Publications: 11