A hard-boiled group of RESIST team members went out to the marshes this month to collect salt marsh sods that will build the foundation for the salt marsh patches we will expose to hydrodynamic forces in the flume. Frost does not allow to plant them into the pallet boxes directly, but this step will be completed as soon as possible. Until then they will sit safe and sound all over the glass house.
Once in the pallet boxes, the vegetation will root into the boxes’ soil and expand laterally, providing us with a range of growth stages from freshly developed apical shoots to well established root/rhizome systems.
Yes, we are planning another amazing experiment, to see how strong and stable tidal flat sediments and marsh vegetation really are… watch this space!!
Check out the beautiful documentary on ‘natural coastal protection’ produced by the German/French TV Channel ‘Arte’ and screened last Saturday 21st November. Well worth a look even if you do not understand the languages!:
… with an appropriately decorated mortar board – even the mice get a space on it!
Congratulations! Well deserved! And a big ‘thank you’ – Without Franziska, the marsh would never have made it to the flume!
The University of Cambridge covered our story last week on its main news page… Check it out on here…:
Wave attenuation over coastal salt marshes under storm surge conditions
Iris Möller, Matthias Kudella, Franziska Rupprecht, Tom Spencer, Maike Paul,
Bregje K. vanWesenbeeck, GuidoWolters, Kai Jensen, Tjeerd J. Bouma,
Martin Miranda-Lange and Stefan Schimmels
Nature Geoscience: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo2251
And we have several further papers in preparation, so watch this space!
Only a month after completion of our experiment in Hannover, the team of the Cambridge Coastal Research Unit of the Department of Geography find themselves surveying the aftermath of a real storm surge that wrought havoc around the UK east coast on the 5th and 6th of December. There is evidence, that this event was larger than the 1953 surge in which over 300 people lost their lives in the UK and many more in the Netherlands (see our survey results write up http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/cambridge-researchers-learn-lessons-from-recent-storm-surge and our piece in Nature that is linked from there.
This means that the marshes of Norfolk most likely experienced precisely those kinds of conditions that we simulated in this experiment, and the evidence for high marsh surface / soil stability, but loss of vegetation through plant stem breakage is there in places:
Vegetation removal in front of sea wall after the 5th December surge, Norfolk (photo: I Moller)