Large-Scale Test Of Extreme Hydrodynamic Conditions Over Coastal Salt Marshes


  • ALESSANDRO ANTONINI Delft University of Technology, Civil Engineering, The Netherlands
  • MARK KLEIN BRETELER Deltares, The Netherlands
  • PIM WILLEMSEN Deltares, The Netherlands
  • DIMITRIS DERMENTZOGLOU Delft University of Technology, Civil Engineering, The Netherlands
  • JOS MULLER University of Twente, The Netherlands
  • VICTORIA MASON NIOZ, The Netherlands
  • TJEERD BOUMA NIOZ, The Netherlands
  • AKIS VOUZIOURIS Delft University of Technology, Civil Engineering, The Netherlands
  • PAUL BURING Delft University of Technology, Civil Engineering, The Netherlands
  • BAS BORSJE University of Twente, The Netherlands



real salt marsh vegetation, large scale 2D – experiment, wave attenuation, extreme design waves


Hard coastal structures such as dikes covered with asphalt or placed block revetments have been widely used in the past for coastal protection in densely populated deltas around the world. Nonetheless, in recent years the effectiveness of hard structures has been questioned in light of the inevitable effects of climate change and their static nature. Decades of research on how salt marshes can play a role within a comprehensive coastal protection scheme suggest that these low environmental impact structures (Maza et al., 2015) might have the capability of dissipating wave energy and hence be technically and formally considered within hybrid coastal erosion and flood protection systems (Borsje et al., 2011). However, only very few studies investigated wave attenuation by real salt marsh vegetation in large-scale laboratories (Ghodoosipour et al., 2022; Maza et al., 2015; Möller et al., 2014) and none of them addressed extreme hydrodynamic design conditions in terms of wave energy and water levels. As a result of this knowledge gap, salt marshes in The Netherlands and all around the world have never been formally considered within the coastal flood protection systems and the underlying risk assessment. With this contribution our aim is to provide an overview of the first worldwide large-scale test focused on the interaction between a salt marsh (i.e. vegetation and shallow foreshore) and extreme hydrodynamic conditions, the adopted measurement techniques and the preliminary results in terms of wave damping, erosion and removed biomass.




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