Hydrodynamics in aquatic ecosystems

Hydrodynamics in aquatic ecosystems

IH Cantabria has developed a hydrodynamic characterization of the processes associated with aquatic ecosystems, which aims to study the flow patterns that occur in ecosystems for a comprehensive characterization by incorporating these indicators based on flow variables to which they are subjected. The work has focused primarily on determining the effect that the flow of waves or currents have on aquatic vegetation, both submerged as the landmass. To perform this research has the latest generation numerical tools, such as models-IH and IH-3VOF 2VOF based on the Navier-Stokes and IH-LAB facilities that allow testing of prototype next level, with highly realistic flow conditions.

Inside the submerged vegetation, studies have been conducted on the behavior of the Posidonia oceanica against wave action by analyzing the degree of dissipation of wave energy produced by this species, considering factors such as plant density, length and effect of wave characteristics with the transformation experienced by it. In addition there has been a mechanical characterization of the behavior of the Posidonia oceanica, determining the most significant patterns of forces exerted on the waves and characterizing plant survival possible causes of the prairies.

As part of the studies of aquatic vegetation emerged two species are considered characteristics of middle and upper marsh (Spartina and Puccinellia sp sp), with different mechanical capabilities (rigid and flexible, respectively). The characterization of the behavior of these compared to the combined action of current and waves is one of the aspects considered. The relationship between leaf biomass and flow characteristics is one of the factors motivating the study of this type of species, in order to infer new magnitudes for a more complete environmental assessment of the ecosystem.

The transfer is demonstrated on scientific articles published in journals indexed in the area and international conference papers. Technology transfer is included within the European project THESEUS, which have developed mitigation actions on the coast by the effect of climate change where the role played by the submerged and emerged coastal vegetation is determined from research in IH Cantabria .

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