Contents

Contributors xi

Foreword xiii

Preface xvii

Chapter 1 An Introduction to Sea Level

Bruce C. Douglas

1.1 The Importance of Sea Level Rise 1

1.2 Sea Level and Geoid 3

1.3 Characteristics of Sea Level Records 7 References 10

Chapter 2 Late Holocene Sea Level Variations

Michael S. Kearney

2.1 Introduction 13

2.2 Evidence for Past Sea Levels: The Data and the 14 Conclusions Drawn

2.2.1 Geomorphic Features 14

2.2.2 Transgressive Sequences 15

2.2.3 Biological Indicators of Sea Level Change 17

2.2.4 Archaeological Data 20

2.2.5 Intertidal Deposits: Coastal Marshes 22

2.3 The Historical Record as Evidence for Sea Level Variation 25

2.4 The Late Holocene Sea Level Record 26

2.4.1 Smooth (Nonoscillating) Sea Level Curves or "Shepherd Curves" 27

2.4.2 Oscillating Sea Level Curves: The South Carolina Coast 29

2.5 The Question of Higher Sea Levels Than Present during the 30 Late Holocene

2.6 Conclusions 32 References 33

Chapter 3 Sea Level Change in the Era of the Recording Tide Gauge

Bruce C. Douglas

3.1 Introduction 37

3.2 Tide Gauges and Their Data 40

3.3 Interpreting Sea Level Records 43

3.4 Tide Gauge Records Suitable for Global Sea Level Analyses 55

3.5 Acceleration of Global Sea Level in the 20th Century 59

3.6 Concluding Remarks 62 References 62

Chapter 4 Global Glacial Isostatic Adjustment and Modern Instrumental Records of Relative Sea Level History

4.1 Introduction 65

4.2 The Modern Global Theory of the Glacial Isostatic 68 Adjustment Process

4.3 Global Properties of Present-Day Signatures of the GIA Process: 73 Tuning the Model

4.4 GIA-Decontaminated Tide Gauge Estimates of the Rate of Global 81 Sea Level Rise

4.5 Implications of the Mid-Holocene Highstand of Sea Level at Sites 86 Distant from the Main Concentrations of LGM Land Ice

4.6 Summary 91 References 93

Chapter 5 Impoundment, Groundwater Mining, and Other Hydrologie Transformations: Impacts on Global Sea Level Rise

Vivien Görnitz

5.1 Introduction 97

5.1.1 An Overview of the Land Hydrologie Cycle 98

5.1.2 Anthropogenic Changes in Runoff and Sea Level Rise 100

5.2 Processes That Increase River Runoff 101

5.2.1 Groundwater Mining 101

5.2.2 Urbanization 103

5.2.3 Water Released by Oxidation of Fossil Fuels and Vegetation 104

5.2.4 Changes in Runoff Due to Deforestation 106

5.2.5 Wetlands 107

5.3 Processes That Reduce Runoff 108

5.3.1 Reservoirs 108

5.3.2 Irrigation 111

5.4 Discussion 112

5.4.1 Modeling Transformations of the Land Hydrological Cycle 114

5.4.2 Hydrologie Monitoring by Satellites 115

5.5 Conclusions 115 References 116

Chapter 6 Observations of Sea Level Change from Satellite Altimetry

R. Steven Nerem and Gary T. Mitchum

6.1 Introduction 121

6.1.1 Tide Gauges and Satellite Altimetry 121

6.1.2 History of Satellite Altimetry 123

6.1.3 Organization of This Chapter 124

6.2 The Altimeter Measurement 125

6.2.1 Measurement Description 125

6.2.2 The Satellite Orbit 128

6.2.3 Effects of the Atmosphere 131

6.2.4 Other Measurement Corrections 133

6.2.5 Error Sources in Satellite Altimetry 135

6.3 Calibrating the Measurement 137

6.3.1 Calibration Overview 137

6.3.2 Using Tide Gauges for Calibration 139

6.4 Results from the TOPEX/POSEIDON Mission 146

6.4.1 Overview of the Achievements of TOPEX/POSEIDON 146

6.4.2 Measuring Changes in Global Mean Sea Level 148

6.4.3 Calibrating the Mean Sea Level Measurements 150

6.4.4 Comparison to Sea Surface Temperature Changes 151

6.4.5 Spatial Variations 153

6.5 The Future 155

6.5.1 Contribution to Climate Research 155

6.5.2 The Future of Satellite Altimetry 157

References 159

Chapter 7 Decadal Variability of Sea Level

7.1 Introduction 165

7.1.1 Magnitude of the Long-Term Rise of Sea Level 168

7.1.2 Determining a Change in the Rate of Sea Level Rise 170

7.2 A Closer Examination of Some Important Details: Low-Frequency 172 Waves in the Ocean

7.2.1 Observed Signals in the Atlantic Ocean

7.2.2 A Rossby Wave Model

7.2.3 Observed Signals in the Pacific Ocean

7.3 The Underlying Physics of the Problem 7.3.1 Correcting Observed Sea Level Rise for Wind-Induced Decadal Signals

Appendix References

Chapter 8 Social and Economic Costs of Sea Level Rise

Stephen P. Leatherman

8.1 Introduction 181

8.2 Data Considerations 184

8.3 Sandy Beach Erosion 188

8.4 Coastal Wetlands 196

8.5 Deltaic Coasts 199

8.6 Small Island Vulnerability 203

8.7 The Chesapeake Bay: A Case Study 209

8.7.1 Western Shore of Maryland 211

8.7.2 Eastern Shore of Maryland 212

8.7.3 Bay Island Communities 215

8.8. Conclusions 218

References 220

Index 225

172 172 175

177 179

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