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AGU: Geophysical Research Letters

 

Keywords

  • Chesapeake Bay
  • North Atlantic
  • sea level

Index Terms

  • 4263 - Ocean predictability and prediction
  • 4513 - Decadal ocean variability
  • 4546 - Nearshore processes
  • 4556 - Sea level: variations and mean
  • 4894 - Instruments, sensors, and techniques

Paper in Press

GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, doi:10.1029/2012GL053435

Is sea level rise accelerating in the Chesapeake Bay? A demonstration of a novel new approach for analyzing sea level data

Key Points
  • Sea level rise in Chesapeake Bay is accelerating.
  • New sea level analysis method tested.
  • Ocean dynamics contribute to sea level rise.

Authors:

Tal Ezer

William Bryce Corlett

Sea level data from the Chesapeake Bay are used to test a novel new analysis method for studies of sea level rise (SLR). The method, based on Empirical Mode Decomposition and Hilbert-Huang Transformation, separates the sea level trend from other oscillating modes and reveals how the mean sea level changes over time. Bootstrap calculations test the robustness of the method and provide confidence levels. The analysis shows that rates of SLR have increased from ~1-3 mm y-1 in the 1930s to ~4-10 mm y-1 in 2011, an acceleration of ~0.05-0.10 mm y-2 that is larger than most previous studies, but comparable to recent findings by Sallenger and collaborators. While land subsidence increases SLR rates in the bay relative to global SLR, the acceleration results support Sallenger et al.'s proposition that an additional contribution to SLR from climatic changes in ocean circulation is affecting the region.

Received 1 August 2012; accepted 1 September 2012.

Citation: Ezer, T. and W. B. Corlett (2012), Is sea level rise accelerating in the Chesapeake Bay? A demonstration of a novel new approach for analyzing sea level data, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2012GL053435, in press.