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Evaluation of the Efficiency of Artificial Reefs by Advanced Numerical Simulations - Towards Environmentally Friendly Coastal Protection

Final Report Summary - EVERANS (Evaluation of the Efficiency of Artificial Reefs by Advanced Numerical Simulations - Towards Environmentally Friendly Coastal Protection)

The main objective of the project was to develop tools and methods to facilitate appropriate design of artificial reefs, applied in conjunction with or without beach nourishment, to provide an environmentally friendly coastal protection. Several specific research objectives have been pursued, as follows:

- to improve and verify existing numerical wave models on wave-structure interaction
- to develop new numerical tool for evaluation the impact of extreme waves
- to study wave-driven currents, local scours and sediment transport using 2D/3D numerical wave models.

The project activities were implemented during three years. The work consisted of:

- collecting/processing/analysing data from physical model tests and field measurements
- developing numerical models, writing software codes
- running numerical simulations, comparing numerical vs physical test results and field observations
- preparing technical recommendations, writing technical reports.

Following main results have been achieved:

- An improved RANSE/VOF CFD wave model has been tested and verified against physical model data. A copyright computer code (plug-in) has been developed to serve using of existing hydrodynamic simulation system (MIKE 21).
- New knowledge has been added to that previously available concerning the mechanism of breaking of waves passing artificial reefs. A report on this subject has been presented and published at the world top-rated conference in the field of coastal engineering, ICCE'2010, Shanghai, China: http://www.icce2010.cn.
- An innovative approach has been developed on the generation of extreme water waves both in physical model laboratory, and on a numerical model. Results have been reported at two consecutive international conferences on Application of Physical Modelling to Coastal Research, Coastlab'2008 Bari, Italy, and CoastLab'2010, Barcelona, Spain: http://www.coastlab10.com.
- New knowledge was obtained on the mechanism of wave-pumping effect and wave-driven currents in the vicinity of an artificial reef. Results were reported at the international conference MIKE by DHI Euro-Conference 2008, Dubrovnik, Croatia: http://www.dhi.pl/News/2008/10/22 as well as in the proceedings of the 9th Int'l Conf. on Marine Science & Technology 'BlackSea2008', Varna: http://nts.tea.bg/web_en/index.htm.
- Evaluation of efficiency has been performed, as well as checking suitability of reef breakwaters for different environmental conditions. General recommendations have been developed on optimizing reef geometry and permeability, for preventing shoreline erosion and local scours; for protecting coastal environment from extreme wave impact. A Technical report with guidelines and recommendations has been created.

The project served as a toll for transferring the knowledge and experience previously acquired during the Marie Curie Fellowship completed at Leibniz University of Hannover, to the Host organisation, BSCA, Bulgaria.

Five scientific papers related to the project were published. Three invited lectures have been delivered at international level.

Project results have been used to prepare and submit a new project-proposal, on a similar subject, to EU FP7 Program (MC, People, IRSES, proposal No. 247468), together with four other partner organisations.

The project outcomes provide a comprehensive approach to study and facilitate design of artificial reefs, in order to provide a functional, cost effective and environmentally sound coastal protection. Besides its direct positive impact to the environmental protection of coastal zones, this approach contributes to bring essential economical benefits by providing possibilities to optimize engineering decisions (more efficiency, less materials, better technologies, low costs).

Finally, the project results are expected to having wider socio-economic impact while contributing to preserving environment and improving quality of life of people in the coastal communities.