CSDMS 2020 Webinars

CSDMS Summer Science Series II: Quantifying seasonal seagrass effects on flow and sediment dynamics in a back-barrier bay

Qingguang Zhu

University of Virginia, United States

Seasonal seagrass growth and senescence exert a strong influence on shallow coastal environments. We applied a hydrodynamic and sediment transport Delft3D model that included coupled effects of seagrass on flow, waves, and sediment resuspension in a shallow coastal bay to quantify seasonal seagrass effects on bay dynamics. Simulation results show that seagrass meadows significantly attenuated flow (60%) and waves (20%) and reduced suspended sediment concentration (85%) during the growing season. Although low-densities of seagrass in winter had limited effects on flow and wave attenuation, small changes in winter seagrass density could alter the annual sediment budget of these seagrass ecosystems.

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Of interest for:
  • Coastal Working Group
  • Coastal Vulnerability Initiative