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The influence of sea-level rise on fringing reef sediment dynamics: field observations and numerical modeling

May 6, 2011

While most climate projections suggest that sea level may rise on the order of 0.5-1.0 m by 2100, it is not clear how fluid flow and sediment transport on fringing reefs might change in response to this rapid sea-level rise. Field observations and numerical modeling suggest that an increase in water depth on the order of 0.5-1.0 m on a fringing reef flat would result in larger significant wave heights and wave-driven shear stresses, which, in turn, would result in an increase in both the size and quantity of sediment that can be resuspended from the seabed or eroded from coastal plain deposits. Greater wave- and wind-driven currents would develop on the reef flat with increasing water depth, increasing the offshore flux of water and sediment from the inner reef flat to the outer reef flat and fore reef where coral growth is typically greatest.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2011
Title The influence of sea-level rise on fringing reef sediment dynamics: field observations and numerical modeling
DOI
Authors Curt D. Storlazzi, Michael E. Field, Edwin Elias, M. Katherine Presto
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Series Title
Series Number
Index ID 70157295
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center