Modeling fluvial sediment plumes: Impacts to coral reefs

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To help guide watershed restoration to reduce the impacts to adjacent coral reefs, the United States Geological Survey and Deltares acquired and analyzed oceanographic and sedimentologic data off 5 West Maui watersheds to calibrate and validate physics-based, numerical hydrodynamic and sediment transport models of the study area. The results indicated sheltered sites are impacted by terrestrial sediment from single stream mouths, with most of the sediment delivered within hours of a flood event. Once this sediment enters the nearshore, it settles out and remains on the reef for a prolonged period. In contrast, the coral reefs along “open” sections of coastline are more exposed to waves and terrestrial sediment from multiple stream sources and the terrestrial sediment can rarely settle but instead remains in suspension, causing turbidity. These analyses underscore the importance of understanding how hydro-dynamics can lead to different sediment dynamics on coral reefs in the same region.

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Modeling fluvial sediment plumes: Impacts to coral reefs
DOI 10.1142/9789811275135_0151
Year Published 2023
Language English
Publisher World Scientific
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title The proceedings of the coastal sediments 2023
First page 1633
Last page 1644
Conference Title Coastal Sediments 2023
Conference Location New Orleans, LA
Conference Date April 11-15, 2023
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