Wave-driven flood-forecasting on reef-lined coasts early warning system (WaveFoRCE)

By: , and 



Increasing the resilience of coastal communities while decreasing the risk to them are key to the continued inhabitance and sustainability of these areas. Low-lying coral reef-lined islands are experiencing storm wave-driven flood events that currently strike with little to no warning. These events are occurring more frequently and with increasing severity. There is a need along the world’s coral reef-lined coasts for a tool that can forecast the timing and severity of wave-driven flooding events. Without this tool, coastal communities are vulnerable to:

loss of life from drowning • loss of, and damage to, property and infrastructure • decreasing viability of communities via loss of, and damage to crops, fishing (via decreased water quality and wave-damaged reefs), and freshwater resources • reduction of livable land due to increased erosion and salt intrusion. The currently available tools were developed for sandy shorelines and do not accurately predict wave-driven flooding on reef-lined coasts, leaving inhabitants without accurate and timely warnings. In addition, the flood models that do exist for reef-lined coasts have only been implemented on a small number of areas throughout the world because running these models is costly and requires a high level of computing power. Using these existing models and techniques to generate high-resolution forecasts for wave-driven flooding for all reef-lined coasts would cost approximately US$1 billion. To remedy this issue, an international team associated with the GEO Blue Planet initiative is working to develop a wave-driven flood-forecasting early-warning system (EWS) for coral reef-lined coasts known as WaveFoRCE. The system aims to provide all nations and people living on a coral reef-lined coast anywhere in the world with an up to 7.5-day forecast of storm wave-driven flood events.

Publication type Newsletter
Title Wave-driven flood-forecasting on reef-lined coasts early warning system (WaveFoRCE)
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher United Nations
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 4 p.
Larger Work Type Newsletter
Larger Work Title Environment Coastal & Offshore (ECO)
First page 144
Last page 147
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details