Flow routing in mangrove forests: field data obtained in Trang, Thailand

Erik Horstman, Catarine M. Dohmen-Janssen, T.J. Bouma, Suzanne J.M.H. Hulscher

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Mangroves grow in the intertidal parts of sheltered tropical coastlines, facilitating coastal stabilization and wave attenuation. Mangroves are widely threatened nowadays, although past studies have indicated their contribution to coastal safety. Most of these studies were based on numerical modeling however and a proper database with field observations is lacking yet. This paper presents part of the results of an extensive field campaign in a mangrove area in Trang Province, Thailand. The study area covers the outer border of an estuarine mangrove creek catchment. Data have been collected on elevation, vegetation, water levels, flow directions and flow velocities throughout this study area. Due to the tough conditions in the field, developing a suitable method for data collection and processing has been a major challenge in this study. Analysis of the hydrodynamic data uncovers the change of flow directions and velocities throughout a mangrove creek catchment over one tidal cycle. In the initial stages of flooding and the final stages of ebbing, creeks supply water to the lower elevated parts of the mangroves. In between these stages, the entire forest bordering the estuary is flooded and flow directions are perpendicular to the forest fringe. Flow velocities within the creeks are still substantially higher than those within the forest, as the creeks also supply water to the back mangroves. These insights in flow routing are promising for the future analysis of sediment input and distribution in mangroves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNCK-days 2012. Crossing borders in coastal research. Jubilee conference proceedings 20th NCK-days, 13-16 March 2012 Enschede, The Netherlands
EditorsW.M. Kranenburg, E.M. Horstman, K.M. Wijnberg
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
ISBN (Print)978-90-365-3342-3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2012
EventNCK-Days 2012: Crossing borders in coastal research - Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 13 Mar 201216 Mar 2012


ConferenceNCK-Days 2012


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