Rising Water: Harnessing the Process of Sedimentation for a Flood Resilient Coastal Landscape

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


This thesis examines the relationships between rising water levels, vulnerable land, and sedimentation within the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Climate induced sea level rise threatens low lying coastal land, especially in regions of continuing subsidence such as the Chesapeake Bay. Alterations to shorelines over time have impacted the ability of coastal landscapes to capture and build up sediment, exposing them to continual erosion. The low lying neighborhood of Belle View along the Potomac River is the focus of the investigation due to its vulnerability to flooding and its cultural and ecological connections to the adjacent landscapes of Dyke Marsh and the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Through careful placement of breakwater infrastructure, sediment will build over time as the water rises, mitigating the effects of coastal flooding in this region. Alterations to the landscapes of the marsh and parkway allow for their cultural and recreational values to be strengthened over time as the landscape adjusts to the rising sea level.



Sedimentation, Sea Level Rise, Flood Mitigation, Marsh Restoration, Breakwaters, Marina