How to Cite

Veelen, T. J. van, Karunarathna, H., Bennett, W. G., Fairchild, T. P., & Reeve, D. E. (2020). NATURE-BASED COASTAL PROTECTION: WAVE DAMPING BY FLEXIBLE SALT MARSH VEGETATION. Coastal Engineering Proceedings, (36v), management.9.


The ability of coastal vegetation to attenuate waves has been well established (Moller et al., 2014). Salt marshes are vegetated coastal wetlands that can act as nature- based coastal defenses. They exhibit a range of plant species, which have been shown to differ in the amount of wave damping they provide (Mullarney & Henderson, 2018). Recent studies have shown that plant flexibility is a key parameter that controls wave energy dissipation (Paul et al., 2016). Yet, no model exists that includes plant flexibility in computationally efficient manner for large-scale coastal zones. Therefore, we have developed a new model for flexible vegetation based on the key mechanisms in the wave-vegetation interaction and applied it to an estuary with diverse salt marsh vegetation.

Recorded Presentation from the vICCE (YouTube Link):


Lesser et al. (2004): Development and validation of a three-dimensional morphological model, Coast. Eng., vol. 51, pp. 883-915.

Möller et al. (2014): Wave Attenuation over Coastal Salt Marshes under Storm Surge Conditions, Nat. Geosci., vol. 7, pp. 727-731.

Mullarney & Henderson (2018) Flows Within Marine Vegetation Canopies. In Advances in Coastal Hydraulics. WORLD SCIENTIFIC. pp. 1-46.

Paul et al. (2016): Plant Stiffness and Biomass as Drivers for Drag Forces under Extreme Wave Loading: A Flume Study on Mimics, Coast. Eng., vol. 117, pp. 70-78

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