Seagrass and the potential to resist coastal encroachment

First, it must be understood that seagrass is a common term for seaweed and algae like grass growing in the water near the shore. Thought they were just natural plants with no use, but recent research by the MIT Institute of Technology shows that they have a great ability to resist sea encroachment.

In the research work of TS. Heidi Nepf, professor of civil and environmental engineering at MIT and Jiarui Lei, a graduate student, described the findings about the significant environmental benefits of seagrass.

They include not only preventing erosion and protecting marine structures and other structures, but also improving water quality and carbon sequestration to help limit future climate change.

Heidi Nepf and Jiarui Lei have recreated artificial versions of seagrass, similar in nature to Zostera marina seagrass , also known as eel grass (eelgrass) , placed in an environment like a meadow. in the tank is 24 meters long at the Parsons Laboratory of MIT.

Artificial seagrass mimics the natural seagrass Zostera marina, which acts as a way to disperse waves against the shore to help combat land invasion.

In this tank, artificial grass also suffers from many different conditions in nature, including static water, strong flow and waves hitting the shore and withdrawing. The results obtained, using the model on the computer, correctly verified the predicted predictions.

The researchers used physical and digital models to analyze how seagrass and waves interact in different conditions on plant density, wave blade length and water movement.

The study describes how seagrass changes in motion depending on the strength of the wave blades, the period and the wave amplitude, thus giving more accurate predictions about reducing the impact of waves hitting the shore. Among the studies on the same topic, this is the most effective research.

To test the authenticity of this experimental model, the team then compared it to a specific seagrass off the Spanish island of Mallorca, in the Mediterranean Sea, where the impact of the The wave has decreased by an average of 50%.

According to GS. Heidi Nepf, with this model, engineers and students can implement many different scenarios for seagrass restoration projects to help protect the coast from invasion, a major problem of humanity. .

Seagrass also has considerable potential to sequester carbon, both through its own biomass and by filtering out fine-grained organic materials from the surrounding water environment, this is also the focus of research. . Be aware, one acre of seagrass (acres, equal to 4,046 m2) may be responsible for keeping more than 10% of the carbon buried in the ocean, although they only account for 0.2% of the area.

According to Dr. Frérick Patrick Gosselin, professor of Mechanical Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal Polytechnic (Canada), while other researchers have studied the effect of seagrass in only stable flow or only in oscillating waves, MIT is' People 'first combined both types of flow, according to the fact that seagrass encountered in nature.

Therefore, this is an extremely important research result and for the first time, through experiments and mathematical models, has quantified the density of seagrass in dispersing waves ashore to minimize sea ‚Äč‚Äčencroachment on land.