Due to low elevation and a shallow water table, the Delaware Bay coast is highly vulnerable to sea-level rise. Numerical simulations of rising sea levels, groundwater flow, and salt transport through year 2100 indicate significant impacts on land use due to a rising water table and localized impacts due to saltwater intrusion in the surficial aquifer.
Beatrice O'Hara of Delaware Geological Survey presented a poster titled "Sediment Carbon Stock, Accumulation Rates and Potential Erosion-Induced Carbon Emissions in the Delaware Bay Tidal Salt Marshes" at "The Earth's Carbon Cycle in the 21st Century: Climate, Ecosystems, and Energy," held April
A parameterization of tidal marsh inundation was developed for the 1,200 hectares of tidal marsh along the 12-km reach of the tidal Murderkill River between Frederica and Bowers Beach in Kent County, Delaware. A parsimonious modeling approach was used that bridges the gap between the simple and often used “bathtub model” (instantaneous inundation based on tides in Delaware Bay), and the more complex modeling of shallow overland that results in the wetting and drying of tidal marshes.
The Delaware Geological Survey will review recent scientific literature and assessments of sea-level change in Delaware and identify appropriate scenarios to use for planning purposes throughout the state. This project will also develop new inundation maps along Delaware's coast that correspond to the identified scenarios.
In 2015, staff of the DNREC Water Supply Section made DGS aware of a situation east of Dover where there is potential for overpumping of the Columbia aquifer by the City of Dover’s Long Point Road wellfield (LPRW) and numerous large-capacity irrigation wells in the surrounding area (Figure 1).