URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169555X14001792

Water Resources Engineering (WRE) connects engineering hydrology and hydraulics with global, economic, environmental, and societal issues.  Our student Kaitlin McCann makes this connection here…

The article entitled Recent rates of sedimentation on irregularly flooded Boreal Baltic coastal wetlands: Responses to recent changes in sea level from the Journal of Geomorphology published on July 15, 2014 focuses on the hydrology and sedimentation of Boreal coastal wetlands on the coast of the Baltic Sea.  The specific issue arises from increases in sea level as a result of the movement of atmospheric pressure systems and fluctuating meteorological conditions (Ward et al., 2014).  As this article is a published scientific Journal article, in addition to my engineering education, I can say that the facts presented on this topic are very accurate.  The only information that I believe may have been missing from the article is the explanation of some of the terms used, such as glacial-isostatic adjustment.

I believe that the broader context areas impacted by this issue are mostly economic and environmental.  Flooding is a natural disaster that causes significant damage on coastlines, which can cause a huge economic burden in terms of disaster relief.  In this particular study, the focus is on wetlands and how increased sedimentation due to flooding is causing progradation of the wetlands.  This negatively affects the benefit that the environment receives from the function of these wetlands.  As my main source was a Journal article, I have found an article from the World Wildlife Fund regarding how the Baltic Sea is experiencing eutrophication as a result of increased nutrients loads (World Wildlife Fund).  This could be attributed to the progradation of the wetlands to the Baltic Sea after increased sedimentation.

Figure 1. Location of the Boreal coastal wetland study sites on the Baltic coastline.


Figure 2. This image from the World Wildlife Fund shows the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea in the summer of 2005.



Ward, R., Teasdale, P., Burnside, N., Joyce, C., & Sepp, K. (2014). Recent rates of sedimentation on irregularly flooded Boreal Baltic coastal wetlands: Responses to recent changes in sea level. Geomorphology, 217, 61-72. Retrieved March 21, 2015, from ScienceDirect.

World Wildlife Fund. (n.d.). Threat of eutrophication to the Baltic Ecoregion. Retrieved March, 22, 2015, from http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/baltic/threats/eutrophication/