Modeling mussel bed influence on fine sediment dynamics
on a Wadden Sea intertidal flat


Leeuwen, Bas van and Augustijn, Denie C.M. and Wesenbeeck, Bregje K. van and Hulscher, Suzanne J.M.H. and Vries, Mindert B. de (2008) Modeling mussel bed influence on fine sediment dynamics
on a Wadden Sea intertidal flat.
In: ''First International BioGeoCivil Engineering Conference (BGCE 2008)'', 23-25 June 2008, Delft.

open access
Abstract:Mussel beds are coherent colonies of mussels and are
widespread in the Dutch Wadden Sea and the Eastern
Scheldt estuary. Mussel beds are known to be an
important factor in biogeomorphological processes,
primarily because of the influence on fine sediment
dynamics. Ongoing research to explore the use of
mussels as bio-tools makes predictive modeling
In this study a process-based model of the
interaction between a young mussel bed and fine
sediment was set up for use in Delft3D-FLOW. The
model encompasses the hydraulic roughness of the
mussel bed, active capture of suspended sediment by
filter feeding and changed properties of sediment
inside the mussel bed to account for the presence of
biodeposited matter. The mussel bed implementation
in Delft3D-FLOW was tested in a Wadden Sea
intertidal mudflat model. Two current dominated
summer months were simulated. The effects of
different patterns, known to occur in young mussel
beds, were evaluated.
It was concluded that roughness and filtration
rate of mussel beds are important factors in mussel
bed influence on fine sediment. A combination of
active deposition via filtration and slow down of the
flow due to increased roughness leads to high net
deposition in the mussel bed. In addition, the ability
of young mussels to quickly climb on top of
deposited material results in rapid trapping of large
amounts of fine sediment. In the wakes of the mussel
bed deposition is also high because of reduced flow
velocities. Patchiness and specifically striped patterns
cause mussel beds to experience less sedimentation
than uniformly covered beds of the same size.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Engineering Technology (CTW)
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