State Water Resources Research Institute Program (WRRI)
Start Date: 2010-03-01 End Date: 2011-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $17,398 Total Non-Federal Funds: $35,072
Principal Investigators: Heather Smith
Abstract: This work seeks to increase our understanding of the role of vegetation in coastal protection and restoration. Coastal protection is a major concern, as more than half of U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a coastline. The Mississippi River Delta region is currently investigating methods to decrease subsidence through the introduction of sediment obtained from the Mississippi River. The goal of these efforts is to increase the wetland areas around the coast to mitigate storm surge and waves. The objectives of this work are two-fold. For the scientific objective, we will be examining the data obtained during the summer of 2010 in a laboratory experiment proposed by Dr. Daniel Cox at Oregon State University examining the wave attenuation properties of vegetation, bulk sediment volume changes, and plant survivability. Our work will focus on analyzing the small-scale, localized transport of sediment within the vegetation and its relationship to the increased turbulence present in the system through the use of vertically stacked acoustic and optical sensors, which will measure the suspended sediment concentration and velocity.