Sea levels are rising, with the highest rates in the tropics, where thousands of low-lying coral atoll islands are located. Most studies on the resilience of these islands to sea-level rise have projected that they will experience minimal inundation impacts until at least the end of the 21st century. However, these have not taken into account the additional hazard of wave-driven overwash or its impact on freshwater availability. We project the impact of sea-level rise and wave-driven flooding on atoll infrastructure and freshwater availability under a variety of climate change scenarios. We show that, on the basis of current greenhouse gas emission rates, the nonlinear interactions between sea-level rise and wave...
This data release includes the XBeach input data files used to evaluate the importance of explicitly modeling sea-swell waves for runup. This was examined using a 2D XBeach short wave-averaged (surfbeat, XB-SB) and a wave-resolving (non-hydrostatic, XB-NH) model of Roi-Namur Island on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of Marshall Islands. Results show that explicitly modelling the sea-swell component (using XB-NH) provides a better approximation of the observed runup than XB-SB (which only models the time-variation of the sea-swell wave height), despite good model performance of both models on reef flat water levels and wave heights. However, both models under-predict runup peaks. The difference between XB-SB and...
Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program
, All tags...
Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center,
Republic of the Marshall Islands,
U.S. Geological Survey,
water column features,
waves, Fewer tags
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...