Green measures for Mediterranean harbours under a changing climate
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Harbour operability may be hampered by climate change. Green solutions can be used to provide extra flexibility with respect to present grey infrastructure to adapt to, and mitigate, such functional disruptions with affordable costs. This paper assesses the performance of a green solution (a seagrass meadow) by assessing its effectiveness through numerical modelling. The analysis is carried out at two harbours that, under the present climate, are prone to wave agitation and overtopping problems. The efficiencies of different seagrass layouts are tested at both sites, by comparing the relevant hydrodynamic parameters. It is concluded that, for moderate sea level rise (SLR) rates, illustrated by the central trend of a medium scenario from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the use of seagrass meadows would be effective enough to attenuate the impact of SLR on breakwater overtopping. In addition, the use of such measures could attenuate the increases in port agitation due to changes in wave direction caused by climate change. Nevertheless, the complexity of the interactions between hydrodynamics and seagrass would require periodic monitoring and re-evaluation to maintain acceptable risk levels, especially in case of extreme scenarios.
CitationSierra, J.P., Garcia, M., Gracia, V., Sanchez-Arcilla, A. Green measures for Mediterranean harbours under a changing climate. "Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. Maritime engineering", Juny 2017, vol. 170, núm. 2, p. 55-66.