BASIN-SCALE MODEL FOR PREDICTING MARSH EDGE EROSION
AbstractRecent attempts to relate marsh edge retreat rate to wave power have met varying levels of success. Schwimmer (2001) correlated wave power to marsh boundary retreat rates over a five-year period along sites within Rehoboth Bay, Delaware, USA. Marani et al. (2011) derived a linear relationship between volumetric retreat rate and mean wave power density using Buckingham's theorem of dimensional analysis. Leonardi and Fagherazzi (2015) added an exponential function to the Schwimmer (2001) equation to account for variability in soil resistance and mean wave height. These equations factor in soil type, water elevation, vegetation, and macrofauna through field-calibrated empirical constants, i.e., they are not explicitly considered. Consequently, the existing capability of predicting marsh edge erosion rate as a function of wave power and soil and vegetation properties is rather limited for engineering applications. For instance, Allison et al. (2017) show that without taking the marsh platform, soil, and vegetation into account, the relationships between marsh edge erosion rates and wave power on a basin or coastal-wide scale are not strong enough statistically to serve as a useful predictive model. The objective of this study is to develop a more robust marsh edge erosion model by characterizing the shear strength, wave power, and retreat rates in Terrebonne Bay, Louisiana.
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