Article (Online ahead of print)
Recent studies have indicated that some coastal areas, including the East Coast of the United States, are experiencing higher rates of sea level rise than the global average. Rates of relative sea level rise are affected by changes in ocean dynamics, as well as by surface elevation fluctuations due to local land subsidence or uplift. In this study, we derived long-term trends in annual mean relative sea level using tide gauge data obtained from the Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level for stations along the United States East Coast. Stations were grouped by location into the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast regions of the United States East Coast, with the intent of investigating relative sea level rise variability between the three regions. Trends for each region were calculated using stations with a minimum record length of at least 30 years; the longest record began in 1856. Records that were less than 70 percent complete were rejected. For the three-year moving averages, Northeast trends were calculated to be 2.79 mm/yr, Mid-Atlantic trends were calculated to be 4.02 mm/yr, and Southeast trends were calculated to be 2.92 mm/yr. For the five-year moving averages, Northeast trends were calculated to be 2.81 mm/yr, Mid-Atlantic trends were calculated to be 4.04 mm/yr, and Southeast trends were calculated to be 2.91 mm/yr. The Mid-Atlantic region of the United States East Coast was determined to be experiencing significantly higher rates of relative sea level rise than the other regions.
Beckman, J. N., & Garcia, J. E. (2019). Rates of relative sea level rise along the United States East Coast. Virginia Journal of Science, 70(1), 10 pp. Online ahead of print. doi:10.25776/yfjr-av28