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Interaction of Mangroves, Coastal Hydrodynamics, and Morphodynamics Along the Coastal Fringes of the Guianas

  • Erik A. Toorman
  • Edward Anthony
  • Pieter G. E. F. Augustinus
  • Antoine Gardel
  • Nicolas Gratiot
  • Oudho Homenauth
  • Nicolas Huybrechts
  • Jaak Monbaliu
  • Kene Moseley
  • Sieuwnath Naipal
Chapter
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 25)

Abstract

The mangrove belt along the coast of the three Guianas, South America, forms a unique ecosystem and acts efficiently as a natural soft coastal defence structure. The general mechanisms have been studied for over four decades and the processes governing the coastal morphodynamics are now understood, at least qualitatively. They consist of an interaction between mangroves, hydrodynamics and sediment mechanics. Twenty percent of the mud discharged by the Amazon in the Atlantic Ocean is transported to the west along the coast by waves and currents in discrete mud banks of a few 10 s of km length, which travel at a speed of the order of 2 km/year. During the presence of a mud bank waves are damped, mud is trapped and colonized by mangroves. Once a mud bank has passed, the waves can attack the shore again. This results in a cycle of land accretion and erosion, with an average net gain of 1 m coast per cycle of roughly 30 years. However, in locations where too many mangroves have been removed, the coast has lost its natural resilience and the settlements and fields are prone to flooding, a concern that increases with climate change and predicted sea-level rise (SLR). Hard coastal defence structures, such as those in Guyana, are expensive and not sustainable. Based on many lessons learnt, pilot projects on mangrove rehabilitation have started. At the same time research efforts are undertaken to allow making quantitative estimates of the potential risks for the coastal communities. For this purpose, numerical prediction models are developed which can compute currents, wave action and sediment transport along the coast of the Guianas. Different climate change scenarios can be investigated. These models can serve in the near future as decision support tool for the local authorities for the management of the coastal zone.

Keywords

Black mangroves Amazon river mud Sea level rise Morphodynamic response Mangrove rehabilitation Guianas coast 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik A. Toorman
    • 1
  • Edward Anthony
    • 2
  • Pieter G. E. F. Augustinus
    • 3
  • Antoine Gardel
    • 4
  • Nicolas Gratiot
    • 5
    • 6
  • Oudho Homenauth
    • 7
  • Nicolas Huybrechts
    • 8
    • 9
  • Jaak Monbaliu
    • 1
  • Kene Moseley
    • 10
  • Sieuwnath Naipal
    • 11
  1. 1.Hydraulics Division, Department of Civil EngineeringKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Université Aix-Marseille, CEREGE UMR CNRSAix-en-ProvenceFrance
  3. 3.Faculty of GeosciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  4. 4.CNRS LEEISA USR 3456CayenneFrance
  5. 5.Centre Asiatique de Recherche sur l’Eau CAREBach Khoa University, VNU-HCMHo Chi Minh CityVietnam
  6. 6.Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IRDGrenobleFrance
  7. 7.National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI)Mon ReposGuyana
  8. 8.Direction Technique Eau, Mer et FleuvesCEREMAMargny Lès CompiègneFrance
  9. 9.Sorbonne Universités, Université de Technologie de Compiègne, CNRS, UMR 7337 Roberval, Centre de Recherche RoyallieuCompiègneFrance
  10. 10.Mangrove Restoration and Management DepartmentNAREIMon ReposGuyana
  11. 11.Land and Water Management, Department of InfrastructureAnton de Kom University of Suriname (AdeKUS)ParamariboSuriname

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