To predict how coastal and estuarine systems evolve, we need to better understand the pathways that sediment takes from source through temporary storage areas to sink. There is thus a need for numerical models tailored to predicting sediment transport pathways and determining connectivity of complex coastal systems. To meet this need, we developed a Lagrangian sediment transport model, SedTRAILS (Sediment TRAnsport vIsualization & Lagrangian Simulator). SedTRAILS enables the efficient and high-resolution computation of sediment transport pathways, which makes it ideally suited for the development of connectivity networks.
So far we have demonstrated its application at Ameland Inlet in the Netherlands and at several other sites around the world. Connectivity provides quantitative metrics for interpreting the results of the model and answering questions about sediment exchange or key transport pathways. This approach improves our understanding of complex coastal and estuarine systems and can aid in coastal management (e.g., nourishment planning). It also allows us to visualize the results of complex numerical model simulations in an intuitive way, opening the door to better communication with non-scientific audiences and more informed decision-making.
My postdoc focuses on the development of this model, so keep an eye on this page for more updates in the years to come!
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