Influence of seagrass meadows on hydrodynamics. A modelling approach
CovenanteeNorges Teknisk- Naturvitenskapelige; Technische Universiteit Delft; University of Southampton; City University
Document typeMaster thesis
Rights accessOpen Access
The economic pressures that have been placed on the Spanish coastline have resulted in coastal management strategies and policies that lack of consideration of the long-term costs and preservation of the natural environment. This has brought about the need to explore alternative solutions to the artificially constructed protection measures of the past. Restoration and better management of seagrass meadows along the Mediterranean coast has been proposed as a possible solution to the current problem. Sufficient evidence needs to be provided regarding their wave attenuation and erosion prevention capabilities before seagrass can be promoted as an effective coastal management strategy. This thesis presents a modeling study that aims to evaluate the wave attenuation aspect using a numerical modeling approach. The SWAN (Simulating WAves Nearshore) wave model is first calibrated using a set of flume experiments and is then applied to a case study on the Catalan coast. The results indicate that the seagrass Posidonia oceanica does have an influence on hydrodynamics. Although no change in wave period was observed, it was concluded that the presence of the seagrass reduces the wave heights that end up reaching the shoreline. It is anticipated that this study is a starting point for a more comprehensive model at the Baix Camp location and other locations before seagrass meadows are promoted as an effective approach to coastal management.