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Open-File Report 2013–1163

Prepared in cooperation with the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act

Submergence Vulnerability Index Development and Application to Coastwide Reference Monitoring System Sites and Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Projects

By Camille L. Stagg, Leigh Anne Sharp, Thomas E. McGinnis, and Gregg A. Snedden

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (1.81 MB)Abstract

Since its implementation in 2003, the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) in Louisiana has facilitated the creation of a comprehensive dataset that includes, but is not limited to, vegetation, hydrologic, and soil metrics on a coastwide scale. The primary impetus for this data collection is to assess land management activities, including restoration efforts, across the coast. The aim of the CRMS analytical team is to provide a method to synthesize this data to enable multiscaled evaluations of activities in Louisiana’s coastal wetlands. Several indices have been developed to facilitate data synthesis and interpretation, including a Floristic Quality Index, a Hydrologic Index, and a Landscape Index. This document details the development of the Submergence Vulnerability Index, which incorporates sediment-elevation data as well as hydrologic data to determine the vulnerability of a wetland based on its ability to keep pace with sea-level rise. The objective of this document is to provide Federal and State sponsors, project managers, planners, landowners, data users, and the rest of the coastal restoration community with the following: (1) data collection and model development methods for the sediment-elevation response variables, and (2) a description of how these response variables will be used to evaluate CWPPRA project and program effectiveness.

First posted September 10, 2013

For additional information contact:
Director, National Wetlands Research Center
U.S. Geological Survey
700 Cajundome Blvd.
Lafayette, LA 70506

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Suggested citation:

Stagg, C.L., Sharp, L.A., McGinnis, T.E., and Snedden, G.A., 2013, Submergence Vulnerability Index development and application to Coastwide Reference Monitoring System Sites and Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act projects: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2013–1163, 12 p.,




Data Collection

Index Description

Implementation and Evaluation

References Cited

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