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Coastal droughts have a different dynamic from upland droughts, which are typically characterized by agricultural, hydrologic, meteorological, and (or) socioeconomic impacts. The location of the freshwater-saltwater interface in surface-water bodies is an important factor in the ecological and socioeconomic dynamics of coastal communities. Because of the uniqueness of drought impacts on coastal ecosystems, a Coastal Salinity Index (CSI) was developed using an approach similar to the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). Instead of using precipitation data, as the SPI does, the CSI utilizes salinity data.

Paul Conrads / U.S. Geological Survey, South Atlantic Water Science Center
June 2, 2016