Does vegetation reduce the magnitude of dune erosion induced by storms?

Many low-elevation coastal areas are under the threat of flooding and erosion. Among different approaches to protect coastal communities from these hazards, dune recovery and enhancement is gaining popularity worldwide since these systems function as the first barrier against the impact of storms, while they can adjust naturally to new environmental conditions and do not alter the surrounding ecosystems. Hence, its relevance for coastal protection has led to an extensive research regarding sandy coasts and dune system response to storm events. However, some components of these coastal features, like the vegetation cover, have not been generally included when assessing storm impacts. Previous studies have explored the different mechanisms through which vegetation may contribute to reduce erosion, for example, by reducing surface flow velocities or enhancing sediment cohesion.

Project Main Goals:
We aim to assess the robustness of a remote sensing technology-based approach to analyse the effect of the vegetation in reducing dune retreat at the dune system of the Ria Formosa during the storm Emma