Sticky stuff: biological cohesion for scour and erosion prevention
MetadataShow full item record
This study examines the potential for biological cohesion to arrest scour erosion at marine infrastructure. Biological cohesion occurs naturally in sedimentary environments, and is caused by extracellular polymeric substances (EPS) which result from the life cycles of microorganisms. EPS is known to dramatically increase the resistance of natural biomediated sediment to erosive hydrodynamic forces. In this study, we test, for the first time, whether EPS can be deliberately added to a sediment to mitigate against scour erosion - a process we term 'biostabilisation'. A systematic laboratory experiment is used to investigate the effects of an EPS additive on scour erosion around a monopile in a sand substrate. Results show that increasing EPS content causes a progressive reduction in equilibrium scour depth, the volume of excavated material and the timescale required to reach equilibrium scour morphology. These parameters are linearly related to EPS content, showing that the effects of EPS on the physical processes required for erosion to occur are concentration dependent. It can be concluded that biostabilisation offers a potential new ecologically engineered, nature-based solution to a range of scour and erosion scenarios. The economic and environmental advantages are discussed, and a methodology for biostabilisation use in individual erosion mitigation scenarios is proposed.
Place of Publication
Recommended, similar items
The following license files are associated with this item: