The 35th Annual Alexander Graham Christie Lecture

Heidi Nepf, the Donald and Martha Harleman Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will deliver the 35th Annual Alexander Graham Christie Lecture.

The lecture will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, in 210 Hodson Hall.

 

How vegetation alters waves and current, and the feedbacks to environmental system function

Vegetation provides a wide range of ecosystem services valued at over 4 trillion dollars per year. Seagrasses, salt marshes, and mangroves, damp storm surge and waves, mitigate anthropogenic nutrient loads, and provide important habitat and blue carbon reservoirs. The conservation and restoration of these landscapes has become the center-point of nature-based solutions for coastal protection and carbon mitigation. This seminar will summarize basic concepts in vegetation hydrodynamics, focusing on flexible meadows of seagrass, for which the bending of plants in response to fluid motion (called reconfiguration) plays an important role in setting the drag. Scaling laws are developed to describe the damping of currents, turbulence and waves as a function of plant morphology, flexibility, and shoot density. The feedbacks from plant-flow interaction to sediment transport and carbon sequestration are also discussed.


Sponsored by the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the JHU Student Section and the Baltimore Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

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