Embargo is over

Just in time for the end of this year’s salt marsh experiments in the large wave flume (GWK), the embargo period for one of the papers from the 2013 experiments ended. The repository team of University of Cambridge kept an eye on it and published the unformatted manuscript as soon as possible to give more people access to our findings. The full ciation is:

Paul, M.; Rupprecht, F.; Möller, I.; Bouma, T.J.; Spencer, T.; Kudella, M.; Wolters, G.; van Wesenbeeck, B.K.; Jensen, K.; Miranda-Lange, M.; Schimmels, S. (2016). Plant stiffness and biomass as drivers for drag forces under extreme wave loading: a flume study on mimics. Coastal Engineering, doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2016.07.004.


The calm after the storm

It is done, the salt marsh vegetation in the large wave flume (GWK) in Hannover encountered its last storm flood today. It has been an intese month with a fantastic interdisciplinary and international team and I feel proud to be part of it.


In addition to preparing experiments and collecting data, I managed to document what we were doing and why we are doing it on the project’s blog. And in the future, we will obviously talk about our findings there as well.

Another close look at plant shapes

Just before Easter I spent a couple of unexpectedly winterly weeks in Loughborough running the next series of lab experiments to find out how important plant shape and biomechanical properties are in the plant’s interaction with hydrodynamics. The aim was to find out whether the common practise of modelling plants by a uniform stick or ribbon is good enough to quantify the effect of vegetation on hydrodynamics and vice versa.MaikesMimics

Together with Tim Marjoribanks I exposed a set of surrogates with varying thickness and thus flexibility to different flow conditions. In addition to flow profiles behind the surrogates we also recorded their position and movement as well as the drag forces they encounter. Just by looking at the screen while recording the data we could see differences, but only detailed analysis over the coming weeks will show how significant these really are.

Linking seagrass and shore nourishment

Earlier this year I was invited to give a talk at an event organised by HTG (German Port Technology Association) to give an overview over ecosystem services in coastal protection. This inspired me to think more closely about the regulatory services especially small seagrass species can provide. The results of this process have now been published in Marine Pollution Bulletin:

The protection of sandy shores – Can we afford to ignore the contribution of seagrass? doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2017.08.012.