The experiments “Study of intertidal dynamics interaction with mangrove forests” have started this February 2017 at the Hydraulics Institute of Cantabria (IHCantabria). The main objective of this experiments is to analyze the role played by these ecosystems in coastal protection and their capacity to damp flow energy to include them as natural defense barriers. These experiments will also provide with some new insights to better know their response under regular and extreme wave climate conditions to better understand how these ecosystems will adapt to climate change. This experiments are part of ECOPROOF (Sistemas naturales para la defensa de la costa frente a la reducción de desastres y el cambio climático), a project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness inside the call Retos Investigación: proyectos I+D+I 2014.
A mangrove forest 156 m long at scale 1:6 has been built. Each mangrove is formed by a main trunk of 20 cm in diameter (at real scale) and 24 roots representing a mature, real Rizhophora species mangrove. Different wave conditions, combined with a set of current velocities, are going to be tested along the experiments considering three water depths. To characterize flow interaction with mangroves, wave height evolution along the forest will be measured, as well as velocity at different points along the field. In addition to these flow measurements, 9 mangroves along the forest have been monitored to measure the forces exerted on them by the fluid.
This experiments will result in an extensive data base that will help to reach two specific objectives. First, to better characterize the coastal protection provided by these ecosystems, and second, to improve restoration activities carried out to recover damaged areas.
For more onformation about the project click HERE