This course gives an overview of (1) the coastal hazards that are related to global change, and (2) how these hazards can be mitigated by ecosystem-based coastal management.
The coastal hazards include sea level rise, increasing frequency and intensity of storm surges, risk for tsunamis, coastal erosion. We will study the causes of these coastal hazards, their global geographical occurrence, and their consequences for human societies and coastal ecosystems. This will be illustrated with recent examples (e.g. tropical cyclones, temperate storm surges).
The concept of hazard mitigation by coastal ecosystems will be introduced. Emphasis will be put on the role of coastal vegetations – such as tidal marshes, mangroves and dune vegetation – on (1) the mitigation of sea level rise (by sediment accretion), (2) the attenuation of wind-waves and currents (by friction), (3) the reduction of flood propagation during storm surges and tsunamis, (4) the reduction of coastal erosion. Examples will be given of recent research results, based on lab experiments, field studies, and model simulations of the mitigating effects of coastal vegetations on sea level rise and flood waves.
The theoretical courses will be complemented with practical demonstrations of the mitigating effects of coastal vegetations, through an excursion.