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Within SLAMM, there are five primary processes that affect wetland fate under different scenarios of sea-level rise:
- Inundation: The rise of water levels and the salt boundary are tracked by reducing elevations of each cell as sea levels rise, thus keeping mean tide level (MTL) constant at zero. Spatially variable effects of land subsidence or isostatic rebound are included in these elevation calculations. The effects on each cell are calculated based on the minimum elevation and slope of that cell.
- Erosion: Erosion is triggered based on a threshold of maximum fetch and the proximity of the marsh to estuarine water or open ocean. When these conditions are met, horizontal erosion occurs at a rate based on site- specific data.
- Overwash: Barrier islands of under 500 meters width are assumed to undergo overwash at a user-specified interval. Beach migration and transport of sediments are calculated.
- Saturation: Coastal swamps and fresh marshes can migrate onto adjacent uplands as a response of the fresh water table to rising sea level close to the coast.
- Accretion: Sea level rise is offset by sedimentation and vertical accretion using average or site-specific values for each wetland category. Accretion rates may be spatially variable within a given model domain.