The Role of Coastal Vegetation on Oscillatory Flow Fields

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Abstract

DI NATALE, M and CIARMIELLO, M., 2011. The Role of Coastal Vegetation on Oscillatory Flow Fields. In: Micallef, A. (ed.), MCRR3-2010 Conference Proceedings, Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue, No. 61, pp. 359-364. Grosseto, Tuscany, Italy, ISSN 0749-0208.

Significant land use changes, mainly due to the growth in tourism and coastal urbanization, may be accompanied by profound alterations of the balances related to coastal sediment transport phenomena. This can cause imbalances in coastal areas with the development of zones characterized by erosion. Both structural and non structural methods for coastal protection (breakwaters, seawalls, beach nourishments) are a valid response for the mitigation of coastal erosion.

In the last decades an important role in coastal protection has been assigned to submerged vegetation. The objective of this paper is to evaluate the effects of coastal vegetation on the fluid structure and velocity modifications. The work was carried out experimentally in an oscillating water tunnel.

Velocities were measured using a 2C Digital Particle Image Velocimetry (DPIV) system. Vegetation was modeled by rigid cylinders. A dataset of phase averaged velocity profiles have been analyzed, for coastal hydrodynamic conditions corresponding to disturbed laminar and intermittently turbulent regimes.

The analysis of velocity profiles have shown that vegetation induces modifications in the velocity distribution, causing a reduction of the phase average velocity respect to the no-vegetated bottom case, confirming the expectation, namely the influence of vegetation on the boundary layer properties.

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