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Wave Attenuation by Spartina Saltmarshes in the Chesapeake Bay Under Storm Surge Conditions

Abstract: This study investigates the capacity of a Spartina alterniflora meadow to attenuate waves during storm events based on field observations in the Chesapeake Bay. These observations reveal that environmental conditions including the ratio between water depth and plant height (hr), the ratio between wave height (HS) and water depth, and current directions impact the wave height decay. Further, we present empirical representations of the bulk drag coefficient (Cd) as a function of the Keulegan?Carpenter (KC) and Reynolds (Re) numbers, and the hr ratio. When applying the distinction between current directions, this representation exhibits better agreement when using the Re (?2 = 54%) and hr (?2 = 77%) than with the KC (?2 = 39%). Furthermore, we show that the representation of Cd can be improved by using a hr?based modified Re and KC formulation, yielding correlations of 76% (modified Re) and 78% (modified KC). The proposed expressions are validated during another storm and predicted HS computed within the marsh results in a root?mean?square error of 0.014 m, overestimating the largest HS (0.22 m) by 18%. Finally, these expressions are applied to several hypothetical sea conditions. Under similar vegetation characteristics, HS of 1.55 and 0.8 m (close to a 10,000? and 100?year recurrence interval storm) are attenuated by 50% and 70%, respectively, at 250 m from the marsh edge. This study provides evidence that validates the saltmarsh wave attenuation capacity during storms, quantifies this attenuation, and supports the transferability of the existing formulas in the literature across similar coastal marshes.

 Fuente: Journal of Geophysical Research. Oceans Volume124, Issue7 July 2019 Pages 5220-5243

Editorial: John Wiley & Sons

 Fecha de publicación: 01/07/2019

Nº de páginas: 24

Tipo de publicación: Artículo de Revista

 DOI: 10.1029/2018JC014865

ISSN: 2169-9275,2169-9291,0148-0227

Proyecto español: BIA2014-59718-R

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