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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Combination of Ecological Engineering Procedures Applied to Morphological Stabilization of Estuarine Banks after Dredging

1
Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, Engineering Department University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Ap 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
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Hydraulics, Water Resources and Environment Division, Civil Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto-Dr. Roberto Frias street, s/n, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
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Chemistry Research Centre, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Ap. 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
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Centre for the Research and Technology of Agro-Environment and Biological Sciences, Forest Sciences and Landscape Architecture Department, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Ap 1013, 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 391; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020391
Received: 27 November 2019 / Revised: 27 January 2020 / Accepted: 28 January 2020 / Published: 1 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Security and Governance in Catchments)
Gravel extraction and upstream damming caused profound effects on the estuary of the Lima river (NW Portugal) which was reflected by the collapse of banks, leading further to the destruction of riparian vegetation. This led to consequences such as a progressive negative impact on the preservation of salt marshes over several decades of this protected area, which continued even after the cessation of extraction activities. In this work, we present a restoration project combining civil engineering with soft soil engineering procedures and revegetation, along with two distinct segments, and follow the recovery process. The main intention of the study is to promote hydraulic roughness in order to dissipate energy from peak flows and tides, increasing accretion and indirectly the stimulation of plant succession and salt marsh recovery. We are able to observe that the built structures (an interconnected system of groynes, deflectors and rip-rap/gabion mattress) allowed the erosion process to be detained. However, they did not allow as much sediment as expected to be trapped. The colonization of species (plants) in brackish and tidal water was a difficulty posed by this project. A more extensive restoration of all estuarine areas and river mouths, namely to overcome the sediment deficit, will require proper land-use management at the catchment scale instead of local actions. View Full-Text
Keywords: riverbank erosion; restoration; bank stabilisation; vegetation revetment riverbank erosion; restoration; bank stabilisation; vegetation revetment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Sanches Fernandes, L.F.; Sampaio Pinto, A.A.; Salgado Terêncio, D.P.; Leal Pacheco, F.A.; Vitor Cortes, R.M. Combination of Ecological Engineering Procedures Applied to Morphological Stabilization of Estuarine Banks after Dredging. Water 2020, 12, 391.

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