Nature-based coastal defense systems on waves-currents-seagrass interaction: interdisciplinary research on coastal and ecology engineering and marine biology

01 November 2020 → Ongoing
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Ecosystem services
    • Natural resource management
  • Engineering and technology
    • Environmental and sustainable planning
    • Coastal and estuarine hydraulics
2D and 3D numerical and experimental modeling of wave-current attenuation with seagrass and sa salt marsh) Sustainable coastal protection using Nature-based-solutions currents and sea-level rise using aquatic vegetation(seagrass Protection against waves
Project description

Nature-based solutions that provide sustainable coastal protection using low environmental impact solutions are significant in the adaptation process towards global climate change. One opportunity of sustainable protection is offered by aquatic vegetation(seagrass, salt marshes, and mangroves) in the coastal zone, which is of high ecological value and provides natural coastal protection through attenuating waves, baffling currents and enhancing sedimentation. Many of the world’s shorelines, vegetation is already implicitly part of the flood defense system, nevertheless, more research is necessary to come up with guidelines for the design of nature-based coastal protection systems. At the current state, knowledge gaps lie mostly in the lack of understanding of the underlying hydrodynamic processes and energy dissipation; combined with a scarcity of experimental data and accurate numerical models. In this context, the objectives of this proposed research is to: (i)develop a fluid-structure-interaction (FSI) numerical solver, taking into account the flexibility of vegetation, to investigate attenuation of waves and currents, and (ii)execute 2D experiments in the saltwater flume with real plants and in the 3D Coastal & Ocean Basin with mimics; this work will produce species-specific parameters and open-access validation data. The eventual impact would be enabling the implementation of nature-based solutions in coastal engineering projects on a big scale.