Salt marshes and tidal flats are present in the intertidal zone and are bordered by the dyke at the landward side and by low-tide at the seaside. Tidal flats are largely muddy and sandy areas that are inundated by the tide. Whereas, the salt marsh sites are sited at the higher intertidal zone and inundated less than tidal flat. Given their wave-damping capacity, salt marshes are becoming a crucial factor as coastal protection against long-term extreme weather conditions such as storms, tsunami, etc. Therefore, in this paper, the protective value of salt marsh sites is studied by analyzing short-term (5 years) datasets including grain size, water-levels, bed level changes and significant wave heights. To obtain those datasets, novel SED-sensors and wave gauge have been applied. Four research sites in Westerschelde estuary, in the Netherlands are researched. By combining the acquired datasets, the mean value and fluctuation of bed level change and significant wave height of tidal flats and salt marsh, could be studied in each season and during each extreme stormy period. Furthermore, the transition of significant wave height in each station on each site are analyzed. So, wave attenuation effect on tidal flat and salt marsh sites are compared on different circumstances. Moreover, various studies are reviewed on the more extreme hydrological natural events that would occur in coming years due to climate change and used to extrapolate the findings retrieved from the datasets to the coming years.
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