Decreasing sediment availability, in combination with sea level rise and human fixation of the coastline, results in losses of the intertidal environment (lying in-between the mean low water and mean high water spring tide). This means a loss of biodiversity and an increased coastal vulnerability to extreme events and sea level rise. Thereforeit is of utmost importance to understand the dynamics of the intertidal wetlands; their response to sea level rise and to different types of human interferences. The better we understand the processes that underlie the evolution of the intertidal system, the more effectively we can manipulate the system, to stimulate its rise and maintain its elevation relative to mean sea level.The long-term morphodynamics is difficult to understand due to the interdependencies of the underlying processes; the morphology is shaped by the hydrodynamic forces,while it influences these forces at the same time. Due to the feedback loops, the components are strongly entangled and the whole system cannot be reduced to the sum of itsparts and solved by the traditional reductionist method.In this thesis, system theory and system analysis are applied to get towards an understanding of ‘the intertidal morphodynamical system’. This is the philosophy that states arise that are understandable and possible to determine exactly, despite the many interactionsbetween the variables and the apparent complexity of systems. To describe these states, I follow a top-down approach, where I learn from the observed system behavior. Hence, the observation of conserved properties leads to the important question:‘why are they conserved?’ The answer to this question can reveal much of the system’s dynamics.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Award date||13 Mar 2019|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|