Sediment Transport in Vegetated Regions
Many coastal regions would like to restore coastal marshes as a line of protection against storms and a buffer for nutrient run-off. To a large extent, sediment transport determines the survival and growth of the vegetated landscapes. When strong currents or waves carry sediment away, exposing roots, the vegetation may die off or be uprooted. On the other hand, the delivery of fine sediment, rich in nutrients, is essential in maintaining healthy vegetation. The Nepf Lab is studying bed load and suspended sediment transport in the lab, using model vegetation, and in the field in collaboration with Dr. Chris Esposito of the Water Institute of the Gulf. Our goal is to develop sediment transport models for vegetated regions that can improve the restoration and management of vegetated landscapes.