Salt marshes for flood risk reduction: Quantifying long-term effectiveness and life-cycle costs

Vincent Vuik (Corresponding Author), Bas W. Borsje, Pim W.j.m. Willemsen, Sebastiaan N. Jonkman

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2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Flood risks are increasing worldwide due to climate change and ongoing economic and demographic development in coastal areas. Salt marshes can function as vegetated foreshores that reduce wave loads on coastal structures such as dikes and dams, thereby mitigating current and future flood risk. This paper aims to quantify long-term (100 years) flood risk reduction by salt marshes. Dike-foreshore configurations are assessed by coupled calculations of wave energy dissipation over the foreshore, sediment accretion under sea level rise, the probability of dike failure, and life-cycle costs. Rising sea levels lead to higher storm waves, and increasing probabilities of dike failure by wave overtopping. This study shows that marsh elevation change due to sediment accretion mitigates the increase in wave height, thereby elongating the lifetime of a dike-foreshore system. Further, different human interventions on foreshores are assessed in this paper: realization of a vegetated foreshore via nourishment, addition of a detached earthen breakwater, addition of an unnaturally high zone, or foreshore build-up by application of brushwood dams that enhance sediment accretion. The performance of these strategies is compared to dike heightening for the physical boundary conditions at an exposed dike along the Dutch Wadden Sea. Cost-effectiveness depends on three main factors. First, wave energy dissipation, which is lower for salt marshes with a natural elevation in the intertidal zone, when compared to foreshores with a high zone or detached breakwater. Second, required costs for construction and maintenance. Continuous maintenance costs and delayed effects on flood risk make sheltering structures less attractive from a flood risk perspective. Third, economic value of the protected area, where foreshores are particularly cost-effective for low economic value. Concluding, life-cycle cost analysis demonstrates that, within certain limits, foreshore construction can be more cost-effective than dike heightening.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-110
Number of pages15
JournalOcean & coastal management
Volume171
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

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life cycle costing
risk reduction
salt marshes
saltmarsh
dike
life cycle
dams (hydrology)
cost
economic valuation
sediments
sea level
breakwater
accretion
energy dissipation
wave energy
littoral zone
energy
cost effectiveness
dam
shrublands

Cite this

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title = "Salt marshes for flood risk reduction: Quantifying long-term effectiveness and life-cycle costs",
abstract = "Flood risks are increasing worldwide due to climate change and ongoing economic and demographic development in coastal areas. Salt marshes can function as vegetated foreshores that reduce wave loads on coastal structures such as dikes and dams, thereby mitigating current and future flood risk. This paper aims to quantify long-term (100 years) flood risk reduction by salt marshes. Dike-foreshore configurations are assessed by coupled calculations of wave energy dissipation over the foreshore, sediment accretion under sea level rise, the probability of dike failure, and life-cycle costs. Rising sea levels lead to higher storm waves, and increasing probabilities of dike failure by wave overtopping. This study shows that marsh elevation change due to sediment accretion mitigates the increase in wave height, thereby elongating the lifetime of a dike-foreshore system. Further, different human interventions on foreshores are assessed in this paper: realization of a vegetated foreshore via nourishment, addition of a detached earthen breakwater, addition of an unnaturally high zone, or foreshore build-up by application of brushwood dams that enhance sediment accretion. The performance of these strategies is compared to dike heightening for the physical boundary conditions at an exposed dike along the Dutch Wadden Sea. Cost-effectiveness depends on three main factors. First, wave energy dissipation, which is lower for salt marshes with a natural elevation in the intertidal zone, when compared to foreshores with a high zone or detached breakwater. Second, required costs for construction and maintenance. Continuous maintenance costs and delayed effects on flood risk make sheltering structures less attractive from a flood risk perspective. Third, economic value of the protected area, where foreshores are particularly cost-effective for low economic value. Concluding, life-cycle cost analysis demonstrates that, within certain limits, foreshore construction can be more cost-effective than dike heightening.",
author = "Vincent Vuik and Borsje, {Bas W.} and Willemsen, {Pim W.j.m.} and Jonkman, {Sebastiaan N.}",
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Salt marshes for flood risk reduction: Quantifying long-term effectiveness and life-cycle costs. / Vuik, Vincent (Corresponding Author); Borsje, Bas W.; Willemsen, Pim W.j.m.; Jonkman, Sebastiaan N.

In: Ocean & coastal management, Vol. 171, 01.04.2019, p. 96-110.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Salt marshes for flood risk reduction: Quantifying long-term effectiveness and life-cycle costs

AU - Vuik, Vincent

AU - Borsje, Bas W.

AU - Willemsen, Pim W.j.m.

AU - Jonkman, Sebastiaan N.

PY - 2019/4/1

Y1 - 2019/4/1

N2 - Flood risks are increasing worldwide due to climate change and ongoing economic and demographic development in coastal areas. Salt marshes can function as vegetated foreshores that reduce wave loads on coastal structures such as dikes and dams, thereby mitigating current and future flood risk. This paper aims to quantify long-term (100 years) flood risk reduction by salt marshes. Dike-foreshore configurations are assessed by coupled calculations of wave energy dissipation over the foreshore, sediment accretion under sea level rise, the probability of dike failure, and life-cycle costs. Rising sea levels lead to higher storm waves, and increasing probabilities of dike failure by wave overtopping. This study shows that marsh elevation change due to sediment accretion mitigates the increase in wave height, thereby elongating the lifetime of a dike-foreshore system. Further, different human interventions on foreshores are assessed in this paper: realization of a vegetated foreshore via nourishment, addition of a detached earthen breakwater, addition of an unnaturally high zone, or foreshore build-up by application of brushwood dams that enhance sediment accretion. The performance of these strategies is compared to dike heightening for the physical boundary conditions at an exposed dike along the Dutch Wadden Sea. Cost-effectiveness depends on three main factors. First, wave energy dissipation, which is lower for salt marshes with a natural elevation in the intertidal zone, when compared to foreshores with a high zone or detached breakwater. Second, required costs for construction and maintenance. Continuous maintenance costs and delayed effects on flood risk make sheltering structures less attractive from a flood risk perspective. Third, economic value of the protected area, where foreshores are particularly cost-effective for low economic value. Concluding, life-cycle cost analysis demonstrates that, within certain limits, foreshore construction can be more cost-effective than dike heightening.

AB - Flood risks are increasing worldwide due to climate change and ongoing economic and demographic development in coastal areas. Salt marshes can function as vegetated foreshores that reduce wave loads on coastal structures such as dikes and dams, thereby mitigating current and future flood risk. This paper aims to quantify long-term (100 years) flood risk reduction by salt marshes. Dike-foreshore configurations are assessed by coupled calculations of wave energy dissipation over the foreshore, sediment accretion under sea level rise, the probability of dike failure, and life-cycle costs. Rising sea levels lead to higher storm waves, and increasing probabilities of dike failure by wave overtopping. This study shows that marsh elevation change due to sediment accretion mitigates the increase in wave height, thereby elongating the lifetime of a dike-foreshore system. Further, different human interventions on foreshores are assessed in this paper: realization of a vegetated foreshore via nourishment, addition of a detached earthen breakwater, addition of an unnaturally high zone, or foreshore build-up by application of brushwood dams that enhance sediment accretion. The performance of these strategies is compared to dike heightening for the physical boundary conditions at an exposed dike along the Dutch Wadden Sea. Cost-effectiveness depends on three main factors. First, wave energy dissipation, which is lower for salt marshes with a natural elevation in the intertidal zone, when compared to foreshores with a high zone or detached breakwater. Second, required costs for construction and maintenance. Continuous maintenance costs and delayed effects on flood risk make sheltering structures less attractive from a flood risk perspective. Third, economic value of the protected area, where foreshores are particularly cost-effective for low economic value. Concluding, life-cycle cost analysis demonstrates that, within certain limits, foreshore construction can be more cost-effective than dike heightening.

U2 - 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.01.010

DO - 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2019.01.010

M3 - Article

VL - 171

SP - 96

EP - 110

JO - Ocean & coastal management

JF - Ocean & coastal management

SN - 0964-5691

ER -