Form and Function of Coastal Areas
Abstract: Coastal waters have high biological productivity and provide goods and services with a high monetary value. Coasts are used by many different stakeholders and are often densely populated. These factors put coastal ecosystems under heavy environmental pressure and place high demands on politicians and coastal managers, who need suitable tools to facilitate decision-making. Geographic information systems and predictive mass balance models are two such tools, and the form of coastal areas (morphometry) is an important component of both tools in coastal management.In this thesis it was shown that the form and function of coastal areas are interrelated in a number of ways. Morphometric parameters can be used to identify coastal areas that are more sensitive to pollution, or that potentially have higher ecological value; and morphometric analysis is an essential part of mass balance modeling. New ways of using morphometry for estimation of benthic production potential were presented and tested. It was shown that there are great differences in benthic production potential among Swedish coastal areas and regions. Different morphometric descriptors of openness were developed and tested; these can be used in habitat mapping or for prediction of sediment bottom types. Significant correlation was found between the morphometric properties of coastal areas, the proportion of accumulation bottom areas and the critical depth. Statistical models for prediction of accumulation bottom areas and critical depth were also obtained using multiple regression. Large differences were found in empirical values of bottom dynamic conditions from two different sources. Algorithms from a well tested mass balance model were adapted for modeling salt in the Baltic Sea. This enabled calculation of water exchange between five basins on a monthly time scale, which can be of use in future modeling studies. The study included morphometric analysis for structuring the model and for calculation of input data.
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