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|Contributing to coastal protection through the transition from mudflats to vegetated Foreshores|
Schumacher, L. (2021). Contributing to coastal protection through the transition from mudflats to vegetated Foreshores. Thesis. NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research: Yerseke. 42 pp.
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During this 5-month internship realization project research was done on the transition from bare mudflats to vegetated foreshores. This transition was analysed using GIS. NDVI maps were created using aerial photographs, GPS vegetation boundary data and elevation data. Additionally, multiple parameters were researched to investigate the soil stability. The results of the research were translated into a final report.Salt marshes form a nature based coastal protection. however, salt marshes can take a very long time to develop. That is why managed realignment and restoration projects are of interest. Based on the analysis using aerial images and vegetation boundary field data the managed realignment and restoration projects show a better vegetation expansion than the naturally formed marshes. Based on the outcome, a series processes and variables were considered to possibly explain the differences between the vegetation expansion. These included: Roots, water content, elevation, soil texture, organic matter, shelter, and drainage. These abiotic and biotic variables affect the vegetation establishment and expansion. Scatter plots were made where elevation was plotted against the vegetation expansion. Based on these scatterplot the high elevated salt marshes had the biggest vegetation expansion. The difference in soil stability between mudflats and vegetated salt marshes was also analysed. The eroding forces were not a lot bigger than the resisting ones in the vegetated area, therefore experiencing overall low erosion. The shear strength of locations the mudflat was considerably lower than the rest with the most probable explanation in this case being the roots and rhizomes of the vegetation that interacts with the soil.