The Spatial and Temporal Variability of Sea Level Change along the North American East Coast

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Danah Han1, Brian Oh2, Chris Chen1 and James L Davis2, (1)Lamont-Doherty Earth Obervator, Palisades, NY, United States, (2)Lamont-Doherty Earth Obervator, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Palisades, NY, United States
Understanding the nature of sea-level change (SLC) is of paramount importance to, and a significant aspect of the future well being of, coastal towns and ecosystems. The east coast of North America is particularly susceptible to the impacts of SLC because its high economic productivity and population density compound the possible damage that could occur to the region. Moreover, predictions regarding the near-term and long-term future effects of SLC in this region are inconclusive because there is uncertainty regarding its long-term causes. As a result, the findings of a study of the various components of sea-level change on the U.S. East Coast will be presented. A model for SLC on the East Coast will be developed consisting of SLC due to thermosteric changes, glacial isostatic adjustment, and gravitationally self-consistent calculations for SLC due to present-day melting from Greenland and other areas from GRACE data. Tide gauges along the coast will be used to provide observational constraints on SLC. The models will include scenarios for the time-dependence of SLC. The comparison between data and models will be used to assess the current level of understanding of SLC in this region on a wide range of timescales.