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C3E2 : Consequences of Climate Change on Estuaries' Ecogeomorphology

Estuaries morphology depends on several factors: sediments supply from upstream river or sea, rainfalls, storms, etc.

Modifications of marine over tidal due to storms and growth of sea level due to climate change will therefore directly impact estuaries’ morphology.
The issue is to better understand the modifications of hydro-sedimentary behavior, leading to adaptation of their morphology, their habitats and, in fine, of their ecosystems.
The C3E2 project will contribute to the evaluation of both climate change effect and anthropic controls, which cannot be ignored in the estuary environment, on the evolution of:
1. Estuaries’ morphology
2. Their sedimentary cover and organization of the resulting biotope/ecosystem (in both the major and the minor bed) on “human” time scaling coherent with implementing of adapted public politics.

Two parts are implemented, both supported by digital modeling integrating morphodynamic aspects:

1. A study on the morpho-sedimentary answers of modelised estuaries, defined starting from different geometric features and representative environmental conditions of French estuaries.
2. A case study, Loire estuary: the existence of long chronological series will allow a validation of a hydro-sedimentary model already operating. Moreover, this estuary preserved some natural areas in which interactions between physical process and vegetation could be studied.


Pierre Le Hir , Laboratoire DYNECO/PHYSED (IFREMER)

Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Institut de Géoarchitecture EA 221
SOGREAH ingénierie
GIP Loire-Estuaire
290 000 €
  • Adaptation
  • Impacts