ICCE 2018 Cover Image

Supplementary Files

Conference Presentation File

How to Cite

van Veelen, T. J., Karunarathna, H., Fairchild, T. P., Bennett, W. G., Griffin, J., & Reeve, D. E. (2018). IMPROVING PREDICTIVE MODELLING OF COASTAL PROTECTION BY SALT MARSHES. Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 1(36), risk.95.


Salt marshes are vegetated tidal wetlands, which can typically be found at sheltered coastal areas in moderate climate zones. Their potential as natural coastal protection by wave attenuation (Möller et al, 2014), reduction of flood-surge propagation (Stark et al., 2016) and shoreline stabilization (Bouma et al, 2014) has been increasingly recognized among scientists and engineers, but it comes with risks. Our understanding of the biogeomorphological dynamics between salt marsh vegetation, hydrodynamics and sediment is limited, while these are essential to identify the protective value of marshes to coastal protection (Wu et al., 2017). In this study, we present a predictive process-based model with a newly validated vegetation module to study the potential of salt marshes to contribute to coastal protection for a case study site in West Wales, United Kingdom.


Bouma et al. (2014): Identifying knowledge gaps hampering application of intertidal habitats in coastal protection: Opportunities & steps to take, Coast. Eng., vol. 87, pp. 147-157.

Möller et al. (2014): Wave attenuation over coastal salt marshes under storm surge conditions, Nat. Geosci., vol. 7, pp. 727-731.

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

Stark et al. (2016): Coastal flood protection by a combined nature-based and engineering approach: Modeling the effects of marsh geometry and surrounding dikes, Estuar. Coast. Shelf S., vol. 175, pp. 34-45.

Tempest, Möller, Spencer (2015): A review of plant-flow interactions on salt marshes: the importance of vegetation structure and plant mechanical characteristics, WIREs Water, vol. 2, pp. 669-681.

Wu et al. (2017): Subgrid modeling of salt marsh hydrodynamics with effects of vegetation and vegetation zonation, Earth Surf. Proc. Land., vol. 42, pp. 1755-1768.

Authors retain copyright and grant the Proceedings right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this Proceedings.