AGU Chapman Conference on
Salt Marsh Geomorphology: Physical and Ecological Effects on Landform

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
9-13 October 2004

Program Committee
Conference Objective
Proposed Topics
Scientific Program
Meeting Location


Raymond Torres, University of South Carolina; Email:
Danika van Proosdij, Saint Mary's University; Email:
Sergio Fagherazzi, Florida State University; Email:
Charles Hopkinson, Marine Biological Laboratory; Email:

Program Committee:

Carl L. Amos, South Hampton Ocean. Inst, UK
Keith S. Black, St. Andrews University, UK Linda Blum, University of Virginia, USA
Grace Brush, Johns Hopkins University, USA
D.R. Cahoon, US Geological Survey, USA
Alan Decho, U. of South Carolina, USA
Keith Dyer, University of Plymouth, UK
Jon French, U College, London, UK
Markus Huettel, University of Maryland, USA
G.M.E. Perillo, Bahia Blanca Inst., Argentina
Denise J. Reed, U. of New Orleans, USA
Andrea Rinaldo, University of Padua, Italy
Particia Wiberg, University of Virginia, USA
Sarah Woodin, U. of South Carolina, USA


National Science Foundation
National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics, University of Minnesota
US Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Philip Williams and Associates
Department of Geological Sciences, University of South Carolina
Wtlands and Water Resources

Conference Objective:

The goal of this conference is the integration of physical and ecological sciences to enhance our understanding of the interactions between salt marsh geomorphology and intertidal sedimentary processes. Salt marsh and mudflat productivity is attributable to many physical and biological factors, and their areal extent and quality vary in response to the dynamic balance between sedimentary processes and intertidal topography. Hence, the intertidal landscape is the template upon which highly productive ecosystems thrive, and feedback between the scientific disciplines of ecology-sediment transport-geomorphology ultimately controls marsh sustainability. The conference is structured to promote exchanges between physical and biological scientists through plenary presentations, panel discussions, and small groups break out sessions, and field trips. We anticipate publication of contributions in a special issue of JGR-Earth Surface, and we expect to deliver a summary of the "state of the science" with a cross-disciplinary perspective.

Proposed Topics:

Spatial variations in salt marsh sed processes, var. tidal range, seasonal, position.
  1. Intertidal zone ecology – Vegetation and bioturbation. This session will focus on the plant-sediment interactions, organism-sediment interactions bioturbation and peat accumulation.
  2. Biophysical sedimentary processes – Biofilms. The focus will be on biostabilization of sediment and biomediated sediment entrainment. This includes microbial processes, vegetation effects and bivalve effects.
  3. Intertidal zone sediment suspension and redistribution and supply – Mobilization of biostablized sediment. Here we focus on the forces acting on sediments threshold conditions for sediment entrainment, and sediment redistribution in the intertidal zone.
  4. Intertidal Geomorphology – Quantitative analyses of topography in the intertidal zone and interactions between sedimentary processes and topography.
  5. Modeling intertidal zone processes and geomorphology – This session will present conceptual and numerical models that describe the evolution of 1-D, 2-D and 3-D evolution of intertidal topography. Here we will examine what models are available and how we might improve models given the conference interactions.

Scientific Program   (PDF - 24KB)

Meeting Location:

The location for this Chapman Conference is Halifax, Nova Scotia. Halifax, Nova Scotia is ideal because it is ~45 minutes from a unique macro tidal environment with high energy tidal forcing effects on sediment transport and geomorphology of salt marsh and mud flats-The Bay of Fundy. The conference will take place at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Canada. As information becomes available regarding accommodations, it will be placed on this web site.