The objective of this Statement of Need (SON) was to develop improved methods to determine coastal vertical land motion (VLM) in support of coastal installations. Of particular interest is the impact of VLM along the East Coast of the United States.
Any proposed effort had to include robust estimates of uncertainty and allow for an assessment of the non-linearity of the rate of VLM estimated from the observed record.
The Department of Defense (DoD) has an extensive and strategically important global portfolio of coastal installation and land holdings, with installations on the East Coast of the United States being particularly well developed and mature. While the benefits resulting from this proposed work will benefit the coastal installations broadly, VLM appears to be a particularly important factor in relative sea-level change along the East Coast. As a result, the proposed work will have particular relevance with regard to installation climate resilience and the potential for required adaption measures in this important region.
The observational coverage of coastal VLM, the long-term rate of geocentric referenced land surface elevation over time, has improved dramatically in recent decades. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) stations provide improved estimates of VLM at coastline locations. However, GNSS-based VLM estimates are limited due to the distances between stations, distances that results in data gaps, and the historical fact that the temporal length of record often varies from station to station. Concurrent with more recent GNSS station development, satellite-based Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) analysis has begun to fill in the gaps between stations by providing an indication of the spatial variability of the rate in VLM at high spatial resolution. However, InSAR records have even a shorter temporal history available and, as a result, give rise to uncertainty when considered for projecting VLM rates into the future. Approaches to overcome these limitations are being considered. For example, combining established statistical models with available observations may provide a path to improving projections, but any proposed approach must include robust estimates of uncertainty and allow for an assessment of the non-linearity of the rate of VLM estimated from the observed record. In short, while observational coverage has improved, the methods used to project VLM and the available VLM observations all come with limitations that impact the DoD’s ability to best determine future trends associated with this sea level-rise metric at coastal installations. This statement of need is a call that invites proposals to overcome these shortcomings.
The cost and time to meet the requirements of this SON were at the discretion of the proposer. The proposals had to describe a complete research effort. It is anticipated that the scope of this statement of need is such that a multi-disciplinary team will be required to execute a successful effort. Nonetheless, single investigator efforts may compete successfully. The proposer should have incorporated the appropriate time, schedule, and cost requirements to accomplish the scope of work proposed.
Standard Proposals: These proposals describe a complete research effort. The proposer should incorporate the appropriate time, schedule, and cost requirements to accomplish the scope of work proposed. SERDP projects normally run from two to four years in length and vary considerably in cost consistent with the scope of the effort but must not exceed $900,000 per year. Preference will be given to proposals that efficiently address and the research objective. Project budgets vary but must remain consistent with the scope of the effort.
Limited Scope Proposals: Proposers with innovative approaches to the SON that entail high technical risk or have minimal supporting data may submit a Limited Scope Proposal for funding for an amount not to exceed $125,000 per year for a period not to exceed two years. Such proposals may be eligible for follow-on funding if they result in a successful initial project. The objective of these proposals should be to acquire the data necessary to demonstrate proof-of-concept or reduction of risk that will lead to development of a future Standard Proposal. Proposers should submit Limited Scope Proposals in accordance with the SERDP Core Solicitation instructions and deadlines.