Search inside publication
Variations in storm‑induced bed level dynamics across intertidal flats
Hydrodynamic forces on intertidal flats vary over a range of temporal and spatial scales. These spatiotemporal inhomogeneities have implications for intertidal flat morphodynamics and ecology. We determine whether storm events are capable of altering the long-term morphological evolution of intertidal flats, and unravel the contributions of tidal flow, wind-driven flow, waves, and water depth on inhomogeneities in bed level dynamics (bed level changes over ~days) across these areas. We complement decades of bed level measurements on eight intertidal flats in two estuaries in the Netherlands with an extensive 1-month field campaign on one of those flats. Across this intertidal flat, the hydrodynamics and morphodynamics of a storm event were captured, including the post-storm recovery. We show that individual events can persistently alter the morphological evolution of intertidal flats; magnitudes of some bed level changes are even comparable to years of continuous evolution. The morphological impacts of events are largely controlled by the relative timing of the forcing processes, and not solely by their magnitudes. Spatiotemporal variations in bed level dynamics of intertidal flats are driven by a combination of: (1) the inhomogeneous distributions of the hydrodynamic forcing processes (including the under-explored role of the wind); and (2) the linear proportionality between bed level dynamics and the local bed slope.
Projections of global‑scale extreme sea levels and resulting episodic coastal flooding over the 21st century
Global models of tide, storm surge, and wave setup are used to obtain projections of episodic coastal flooding over the coming century. The models are extensively validated against tide gauge data and the impact of uncertainties and assumptions on projections estimated in detail. Global “hotspots” where there is projected to be a significant change in episodic flooding by the end of the century are identified and found to be mostly concentrated in north western Europe and Asia. Results show that for the case of no coastal protection or adaptation and a mean RCP8.5 scenario, there will be an increase of 48% of the world’s land area, 52% of the global population and 46% of global assets at risk of flooding by 2100. A total of 68% of the global coastal area flooded will be caused by tide and storm events with 32% due to projected regional sea level rise.
Spatial and temporal evaluation of radar rainfall nowcasting techniques on 1,533 Events
Radar rainfall nowcasting, the process of statistically extrapolating the most recent rainfall observation, is increasingly used for very short range rainfall forecasting (less than 6 hr ahead). We performed a large‐sample analysis of 1,533 events, systematically selected for 4 event durations and 12 lowland catchments (6.5–957 km2), to determine the predictive skill of nowcasting. Four algorithms are tested and compared with Eulerian Persistence: Rainymotion Sparse, Rainymotion DenseRotation, Pysteps deterministic, and Pysteps probabilistic with 20 ensemble members. We focus on the dependency of nowcast skill on event duration, season, catchment size, and location. Maximum skillful lead times increase for longer event durations, due to the more persistent character of these events. For all four event durations, Pysteps deterministic attains the longest average decorrelation times, with 25 min for 1‐hr durations, 40 min for 3 hr, 56 min for 6 hr, and 116 min for 24 hr. During winter, with more persistent stratiform precipitation, we find three times lower mean absolute errors than for convective summer precipitation. Higher skill is also found after spatially upscaling the forecast. Catchment location matters too: Given the prevailing storm movement, two times higher skillful lead times are found downwind than upwind toward the edge of the domain. In most cases, Pysteps algorithms outperform the Rainymotion benchmark algorithms. We speculate that most errors originate from growth and dissipation processes which are not or only partially (stochastically) accounted for.
Building for Nature : preserving threatened bird habitat in port design
The fast economic development of the People’s Republic of China has created an increasing demand for usable land, resulting in large-scale land reclamations along the coastal zone. One of these regions is Tongzhou Bay (Jiangsu coast), a region characterized by large intertidal mudflats and deep tidal channels with potential for the development of agri-aquaculture and the construction of a deep-sea port. However, these intertidal mudflats also provide vital ecosystem services and support many wildlife species, including several endangered migratory shorebirds within the East Asian–Australasian Flyway. With increasing realization of the importance of maintaining such ecological values, a more integrated coastal development strategy is needed. This study aims to develop a sustainable integrated design for the Tongzhou Bay port, following a “Building with Nature” approach. We use a morphodynamic model to compute habitat suitability for two shorebird species. Several port configurations were developed on the basis of three design criteria: (1) create area for future port development, whilst (2) preserving existing high-value ecotopes for shorebirds and (3) enhance the natural accretion rate of such ecotopes. Simulation results showed a clear dierence in siltation patterns, preservation and enhancement of preferred ecotopes. This work therefore demonstrates the potential and importance of morphological and habitat suitability modelling when designing large-scale reclamations and port constructions, especially in dynamic areas such as Tongzhou Bay.
Bank erosion processes in regulated navigable rivers
Vessel‐induced waves affect the morphology and ecology of banks and shorelines around the world. In rivers used as waterways, ship passages contribute to the erosion of unprotected banks, but their short‐ and long‐term impacts remain unclear. This work investigates the effects of navigation on bank erosion along a reach of the regulated Meuse River with recently renaturalized banks. We apply UAV‐SfM photogrammetry, RTK‐GPS, acoustic Doppler velocimetry, aerial and terrestrial photography, soil tests, and multibeam echosounding to analyze the progression of bank retreat after riprap removal. After having analyzed the effects of ship‐generated waves and currents, floods, and vegetation dynamics, a process‐based model is proposed to estimate the long‐term bank retreat. The results show that a terrace evolves in length and depth across the bank according to local lithology, which we clustered in three types. Floods contribute to upper‐bank erosion‐inducing mass failures, while near‐bank flow appears increasingly ineffective to remove the failed material due to terrace elongation. Vegetation growth at the upper‐bank toe reduces bank failure and delays erosion, but its permanence is limited by terrace stability and efficiency to dissipate waves. The results also indicate that long‐term bank retreat is controlled by deep primary waves acting like bores over the terrace. Understanding the underlying drivers of bank evolution can support process‐based management to optimize the benefits of structural and functional diversity in navigable rivers.
A risk-based groundwater modeling framework in coastal aquifers : a case study on Long Island, New York, USA
A methodology is proposed to define indices for quantifying risks under the threat of reducing in groundwater levels, the existence of saltwater intrusion (SWI), and an increasing nitrate contamination load in submarine groundwater discharge (SGD). The proposed methodology considers coastal regions under geological heterogeneity and it is tested on a groundwater system in Nassau County of Long Island, New York (USA). The numerical model is constructed with the SEAWAT code. The parameter uncertainty of this model is evaluated by coupling the Latin hypercube sampling method (as a sampling algorithm) and Monte Carlo simulation to consider the uncertainty in both hydraulic conductivity and recharge rate. The indices are presented in spatial maps that classify areas of risk to potential threats. The results show that two of the water districts have a high risk under conditions of decreasing groundwater level. Salinity occurs in the southern and southwestern parts of the Nassau County aquifer and a considerable area of high risk of SWI is identified. Furthermore, the average SGD rate with the associated fluxes of nitrate is estimated as 81.4 million m3/year (average 0.8 tons of nitrate through SGD per year), which can adversely affect the quality of life in the local coastal ecosystems. The framework developed in this study could help the water district managers to identify high-risk areas for short-term and long-term planning and is applicable to other coastal settings.
Assessment of numerical methods for estimating the wall shear stress in turbulent Herschel–Bulkley slurries in circular pipes
This article concerns the turbulent flow of Herschel–Bulkley slurries through circular horizontal pipes, in particular, that of concentrated domestic slurry obtained upon separation of domestic waste water and reduction in the use of water for domestic purposes. Experiments with a rheologically equivalent clay (kaolin) slurry indicated a non-Newtonian behaviour of the Herschel–Bulkley type. A modified wall function was developed to enable the Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes simulation of Herschel–Bulkley slurries to estimate the wall shear stress. Despite the accuracy achieved, the use of Reynolds-averaged Navier–Stokes models for an entire waste water system is impractical. Therefore, this article assesses the accuracy of semi-empirical models in estimating frictional losses. It also discusses possible modifications of existing models to encompass Herschel–Bulkley behaviour. An evaluation suggests that most existing models deliver estimates of comparable accuracy; however, the probability of these estimates being reliable, while accounting for experimental errors in quantifying the actual frictional losses, is rather low.
High-level abundances of methanobacteriales and syntrophobacterales may help to prevent corrosion of metal sheet piles
Iron sheet piles are widely used in flood protection, dike construction, and river bank reinforcement. Their corrosion leads to gradual deterioration and often makes replacement necessary. Natural deposit layers on these sheet piles can prevent degradation and significantly increase their life span. However, little is known about the mechanisms of natural protective layer formation. Here, we studied the microbially diverse populations of corrosion-protective deposit layers on iron sheet piles at the Gouderak pumping station in Zuid-Holland, the Netherlands. Deposit layers, surrounding sediment and top sediment samples were analyzed for soil physicochemical parameters, microbially diverse populations, and metabolic potential. Methanogens appeared to be enriched 18-fold in the deposit layers. After sequencing, metagenome assembly and binning, we obtained four nearly complete draft genomes of microorganisms (Methanobacteriales, two Coriobacteriales, and Syntrophobacterales) that were highly enriched in the deposit layers, strongly indicating a potential role in corrosion protection. Coriobacteriales and Syntrophobacterales could be part of a microbial food web degrading organic matter to supply methanogenic substrates. Methane-producing Methanobacteriales could metabolize iron, which may initially lead to mild corrosion but potentially stimulates the formation of a carbonate-rich protective deposit layer in the long term. In addition, Methanobacteriales and Coriobacteriales have the potential to interact with metal surfaces via direct interspecies or extracellular electron transfer. In conclusion, our study provides valuable insights into microbial populations involved in iron corrosion protection and potentially enables the development of novel strategies for in situ screening of iron sheet piles in order to reduce risks and develop more sustainable replacement practices.