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MIT Researchers Use Wave Energy to Stem Erosion
Project in the Maldives

MIT Researchers Use Wave Energy to Stem Erosion

As beaches in the Maldives suffer from erosion due to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Matthew in 2016, MIT researchers are developing a method of utilizing waves to create protective sand bars.


Researchers at MIT's Self-Assembly Lab are working on a solution to rising sea levels and damage from severe storms that is inspired by nature. Called "Growing Islands," the project uses wave energy to increase sand formations in a way that mimics natural sand accumulation. The hope is that over time, sand can "grow" into new islands, beaches, and barriers that can protect coasts from erosion and save islands are under threat of disappearing.

The Growing Islands project uses sand-filled canvas ramps with biodegradable, 3D-printed interiors that use wave-generated energy to create new protective sand bars to help rebuild beaches.

The lab, in partnership with Invena, an organization that develops sustainable technology based out of the Maldives, installed the devices off the Maldivian coast and are collecting data by way of measurements taken by researchers, drones, and satellite imagery. They hope to create an affordable, sustainable solution to protecting island nations and coastal towns and cities from erosion. The team is planning to install a second field experiment later this year.

To learn more about the Growing Islands Project, click HERE.



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July 23, 2019, 8:25 am PDT

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