Required Biological and Environmental Conditions

The objective of artificial seagrass is the development of suitable conditions for the restoration and growth of natural seagrass. This work package aims to determine the hydrodynamic and ecological characteristics that favour and support the growth of Zostera marina as well as their natural variation.

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Dimensions for Artificial Seagrass

Observation of the environmental conditions on Work Package 3 provides a starting point towards the development of the Artificial Seagrass. Existing seagrass meadows in the area of interest are important sources of information regarding the environmental conditions needed for the seagrasses to grow and survive.

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ASG Performance

In the first year, hydrodynamic as well as morphodynamic measurements will be conducted using a commercially available artificial seagrass which will be installed in the Large Wave Flume. At the end of the project phase all data from the project partners will be compiled to produce an artificial seagrass prototype.

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WP7: Artificial seagrass performance tests

The Forschungszentrum Küste (FZK) is a Joint Central Institution of the Leibniz Universität Hannover and the Technische Universität Braunschweig. This institution aims at improving the coordination of coastal research at universities and developing multi-disciplinary national and international cooperation.  The superordinate goal of the Forschungszentrum Küste is the scientific investigation of hydrodynamic, morphodynamic and ecological processes at the coast and in front of the coast, which is conducted in the Large Wave Flume (see Figure 1).  

For more details please see:

https://www.fzk.uni-hannover.de

Figure 1 The Large Wave Flume. With a length of 310 m, a width of 5 m and depth of 7 m the flume is one of the biggest waveflumes in the world.
Figure 1: The Large Wave Flume. With a length of 310 m, a width of 5 m and depth of 7 m the flume is one of the biggest waveflumes in the world.
Picture: Leibniz Universität Hannover

 
The FZK is participating in the SeaArt project with a workpackage (WP) that will start in 2017 and aims at testing the performance of the newly developed artificial seagrass at a 1:1 scale. To do so, the results of WPs 3-6 will be compiled and will form the basis for the final prototype experiments in WP7. Therefore, all partners are involved in WP7 to develop and test the most functional artificial seagrass for future in-situ application.   

At the end of the project phase all data from the project partners will be compiled to produce an artificial seagrass prototype. Both, functionality as well as stability of this prototype will be tested in the Large Wave Flume. For this purpose, the ASG will be exposed to normal and extreme conditions (to simulate e.g. a storm surge) to allow drawing conclusions about the applicability of this novel method under natural conditions. These large scale experiments are divided into two phases: In phase I the stability of the anchoring system (e.g. anchors fixed in the bed) will be tested by the use of force sensors and under different wave forcings. This is important to guarantee that once these mats are set into natural environments they can withstand extreme conditions without harming the young growing seagrass. In the second phase the functionality of the ASG is investigated under quasi natural conditions and at prototype scale. The ASG will be fixed on a movable bed of sediments and different measurements are conducted. Amongst them are hydrodynamic (wave damping, velocity distributions) and morphodynamic measurements (sediment concentration and changes in bed level). The latter aiming at the quantification of the sediment stability under different conditions and the availability of light – both being crucial aspects for the successful growth of seagrass shoots.

Contact

Forschungszentrum Küste
Gemeinsame Einrichtung der Leibniz Universität Hannover und der Technischen Universität Braunschweig

Moritz Thom, thom@fzk.uni-hannover.de, Phone: +49 511 762-9229

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