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Phytosociology and Succession on Earthquake-Uplifted Coastal Wetlands, Copper River Delta, Alaska
John F. Thilenius (au)
The Copper River Delta (CRD) stretches 75 km. along the south-central coastline of Alaska. It is the terminus of the outwash deposits from a large part of the most heavily glaciated region of N. Amer., & all major rivers that flow into the delta carry high levels of suspended sediments. In 1964, a severe earthquake raised the entire delta from 1.8 to 3.4 meters above the previous mean sea level. Subtidal areas became intertidal, & intertidal areas supertidal. Vegetation on newly supertidal levees changed from herb to shrub. A change in frequency & duration of tidal inundation & water salinity is the most obvious cause. The uplift appears to have altered locations & rates, but not the nature, of wetland plant succession on the CRD. Illustrations.
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