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The influence of coral reefs and climate change on wave-driven flooding of tropical coastlines

Geophysical Research Letters

By:
, ORCID iD , , , and ORCID iD
https://doi.org/10.1002/2015GL064861

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Abstract

A numerical model, XBeach, calibrated and validated on field data collected at Roi-Namur Island on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of Marshall Islands, was used to examine the effects of different coral reef characteristics on potential coastal hazards caused by wave-driven flooding and how these effects may be altered by projected climate change. The results presented herein suggest that coasts fronted by relatively narrow reefs with steep fore reef slopes (~1:10 and steeper) and deeper, smoother reef flats are expected to experience the highest wave runup. Wave runup increases for higher water levels (sea level rise), higher waves, and lower bed roughness (coral degradation), which are all expected effects of climate change. Rising sea levels and climate change will therefore have a significant negative impact on the ability of coral reefs to mitigate the effects of coastal hazards in the future.

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Additional publication details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
The influence of coral reefs and climate change on wave-driven flooding of tropical coastlines
Series title:
Geophysical Research Letters
DOI:
10.1002/2015GL064861
Volume:
42
Issue:
15
Year Published:
2015
Language:
English
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Publisher location:
Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s):
Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description:
9 p.
First page:
6407
Last page:
6415
Country:
Republic of the Marshall Islands
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
N