Tidal Marsh Geomorphic Processes

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Figure 4: This diagram helps conceptualize the geomorphic processes that occur when tidal marshes respond to sea level rise in the San Francisco Bay (Bay). At the margin of the open waters of the Bay, sediment is eroded and suspended in the water column during periods of high wave activity. This suspended sediment is carried onto the surface of tidal marshes during high tide or high waters of a storm. It is deposited on the marsh surface either as plants trap the sediment or the waters become calmer or both. Gradually this sediment deposition builds up the surface of the marsh, called accretion or accumulation, and as sea level rises, the landward edge of the marsh moves upward and landward.

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Jeremy Lowe, Philip Williams and Associates
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