reference : Observations of wave transformation over a fringing coral reef and the importance of low-frequency waves and offshore water levels to runup, overwash, and coastal flooding

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/reference/ca89ed2e-7f75-4657-847c-8d7cad1c2876
Bibliographic fields
reftype Journal Article
Abstract Many low-lying tropical islands are susceptible to sea level rise and often subjected to overwash and flooding during large wave events. To quantify wave dynamics and wave-driven water levels on fringing coral reefs, a 5 month deployment of wave gauges and a current meter was conducted across two shore-normal transects on Roi-Namur Island in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. These observations captured two large wave events that had waves with maximum heights greater than 6 m with peak periods of 16 s over the fore reef. The larger event coincided with a peak spring tide, leading to energetic, highly skewed infragravity (0.04–0.004 Hz) and very low frequency (0.004–0.001 Hz) waves at the shoreline, which reached heights of 1.0 and 0.7 m, respectively. Water surface elevations, combined with wave runup, reached 3.7 m above the reef bed at the innermost reef flat adjacent to the toe of the beach, resulting in flooding of inland areas. This overwash occurred during a 3 h time window that coincided with high tide and maximum low-frequency reef flat wave heights. The relatively low-relief characteristics of this narrow reef flat may further drive shoreline amplification of low-frequency waves due to resonance modes. These results (1) demonstrate how the coupling of high offshore water levels with low-frequency reef flat wave energetics can lead to large impacts along fringing reef-lined shorelines, such as island overwash, and (2) lend support to the hypothesis that predicted higher sea levels will lead to more frequent occurrences of these extreme events, negatively impacting coastal resources and infrastructure.
Author Cheriton, Olivia M.; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Rosenberger, Kurt J.
DOI 10.1002/2015JC011231
Database Provider Wiley Online Library
Date 2016/05/01/
ISSN 2169-9291
Issue 5
Journal Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans
Keywords 4560 Surface waves and tides; 4220 Coral reef systems; 4546 Nearshore processes; flooding; 4321 Climate impact; overwash; coral reef; sea level rise; 4217 Coastal processes; infragravity waves; runup
Language en
Pages 3121-3140
Title Observations of wave transformation over a fringing coral reef and the importance of low-frequency waves and offshore water levels to runup, overwash, and coastal flooding
Volume 121
Year 2016
Bibliographic identifiers
_record_number 22406
_uuid ca89ed2e-7f75-4657-847c-8d7cad1c2876