Resilience of branching and massive corals to wave loading under sea level rise – A coupled computational fluid dynamics-structural analysis

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Baldock, Tom E
Karampour, Hassan
Sleep, Rachael
Vyltla, Anisha
Albermani, Faris
Golshani, Aliasghar
Callaghan, David P
Roff, George
Mumby, Peter J
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2014
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Abstract

Measurements of coral structural strength are coupled with a fluid dynamics-structural analysis to investigate the resilience of coral to wave loading under sea level rise and a typical Great Barrier Reef lagoon wave climate. The measured structural properties were used to determine the wave conditions and flow velocities that lead to structural failure. Hydrodynamic modelling was subsequently used to investigate the type of the bathymetry where coral is most vulnerable to breakage under cyclonic wave conditions, and how sea level rise (SLR) changes this vulnerability. Massive corals are determined not to be vulnerable to wave induced structural damage, whereas branching corals are susceptible at wave induced orbital velocities exceeding 0.5 m/s. Model results from a large suite of idealised bathymetry suggest that SLR of 1 m or a loss of skeleton strength of order 25% significantly increases the area of reef flat where branching corals are exposed to damaging wave induced flows.

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Marine Pollution Bulletin

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86

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1-Feb

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Ocean engineering

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