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Damage to seagrass and seaweed beds in Matsushima Bay, Japan, caused by the huge tsunami of the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011

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Damage to seagrass and seaweed beds caused by the huge tsunami of the Great East Japan Earthquake on 11 March 2011 was investigated in Matsushima Bay, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, by comparing satellite images taken before the tsunami in November 2009 and after the tsunami in May 2011. The results showed that the tsunami destroyed 220 ha of seagrass and seaweed beds, from 320 ha in 2009 to 100 ha just after the tsunami. Zostera marina beds on the sandy and muddy bottom were rather severely damaged compared with brown seaweed beds of Sargassum horneri on the rocky substrate. Substrates of the beds and directions of the tsunami seem to be responsible for the magnitude of the damage to the beds. Maps of the spatial distributions of the beds before and after the tsunami can provide information for the restoration of seagrass and seaweed beds as natural infrastructures of coastal fisheries resources.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Research and Studies Department, Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Center, Toyama, Japan 2: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan 3: Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Japan 4: Engineering Development Division, Vision Tech Inc, ., Tsukuba, Japan

Publication date: December 16, 2016

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