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The Influence Of Particle Size And Frictional/Cohesional Shear Strength Components On UK Salt Marsh Substrate Stability

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Brooks, Helen 
Spencer, Tom 
Royse, Kate 
Kirkham, Matthew 


Salt marshes and tidal flats contribute valuable ecosystem services, by providing habitats, storing pollutants and reducing flood and erosion risk in the coastal hinterland. However, salt marsh areal extent is decreasing both globally and regionally (e.g. in Northwest Europe). While we know that salt marshes are retreating, this could be occurring due to biological, geochemical and geotechnical properties of the marsh and tidal flat, and/or due to changes in hydrodynamic forcing. Until now, very few studies have assessed how substrate geotechnical properties influence both the erosion processes and the erodibility of the marsh edge and tidal flat surface. Here, we compare frictional and cohesional strength components at two hydrodynamically-similar but sedimentologically-different salt marshes and tidal flats in the UK. As such, we assess how sediment composition and behavior may influence marsh resistance to hydrodynamic forcing.



Journal Title

Coastal Sediments 2019: Proceedings of the 9th International Conference

Conference Name

Coastal Sediments 2019 (CS19)

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World Scientific


All rights reserved
NERC (1798939)
NERC (via British Geological Survey (BGS)) (unknown)
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/R01082X/1)
Natural Environment Research Council (NE/N015878/1)
This work was funded by a NERC PhD studentship (LCAG/329; 2016-2020), and a Collaborative Award in Science and Engineering with the British Geological Survey (LCAG/352).