80°

Heidi Nepf (MIT), "How vegetation alters waves and current, and the feedbacks to environmental system function"

February 26, 2020 3:30pm
MS 7124

Aquatic vegetation provides a wide range of ecosystem services valued at over 4 trillion dollars per year. Seagrasses, salt marshes, and mangroves, damp storm surge and waves, mitigate anthropogenic nutrient loads, and provide important habitat and blue carbon reservoirs. The conservation and restoration of these landscapes has become a focus of nature-based solutions for coastal protection and carbon mitigation. This seminar will summarize basic concepts in vegetation hydrodynamics, focusing on flexible meadows of seagrass, for which the bending of plants in response to fluid motion (called reconfiguration) plays an important role in setting the drag. Scaling laws are developed to describe the damping of currents, turbulence and waves as a function of plant morphology, flexibility, and shoot density. The feedbacks from plant-flow interaction to sediment transport and carbon sequestration are also discussed.