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Ocean surface waves are the dominant temporally and spatially variable process influencing sea floor sediment resuspension along most continental shelves. Wave-induced sediment mobility on the continental shelf and upper continental slope off central California for different phases of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events was modeled using monthly statistics derived from more than 14 years of concurrent hourly oceanographic and meteorologic data as boundary input for the Delft SWAN wave model, gridded sea floor grain-size data from the usSEABED database, and regional bathymetry. Differences as small as 0.5 m in wave height, 1 s in wave period, and 10° in wave direction, in conjunction with the spatially heterogeneous...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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Observations show global sea level is rising due to climate change, with the highest rates in the tropical Pacific Ocean where many of the world’s low-lying atolls are located. Sea-level rise is particularly critical for low-lying carbonate reef-lined atoll islands; these islands have limited land and water available for human habitation, water and food sources, and ecosystems that are vulnerable to inundation from sea-level rise. Here we demonstrate that sea-level rise will result in larger waves and higher wave-driven water levels along atoll islands’ shorelines than at present. Numerical model results reveal waves will synergistically interact with sea-level rise, causing twice as much land forecast to be flooded...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Scientific Reports
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Ecologists have long recognized that the structure and function of benthic marine ecosystems are closely linked to oceanographic processes. Quantifying the natural spatial and temporal variability of disturbances affecting benthic marine ecosystems is thus critical for planning and management of areas, such as marine protected areas, and for permitting offshore activities such as trawling, dredging, and the placement of sea-floor engineering structures (cables and pipelines, for example). The oceanographic processes that disturb the continental shelf include the actions of surface waves, internal waves, and currents (tidal, density, wave-driven, wind-driven, and geostrophic). Because the North Pacific Ocean can...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Runoff of sediment and other contaminants from developed watersheds threatens coastal ecosystems and services. A sediment geochemical sourcing study was undertaken on a sediment-impacted coral reef flat to identify terrestrial sediment sources and how these changed over time. Geochemical signatures were identified for watershed soils that formed on Hawaiian basaltic and alkalic lavas using relatively immobile compatible (Ni, Sc) and incompatible (Nb, REE, Th) elements quantified by ICP-MS in total decompositions of the fine fraction of surface soils. Some soils also contained ash from late-erupting cinder conesthat added alkalic geochemical signatures, resulting in distinctive mixed signatures near these geologic...
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Wave‐driven water level variability (and runup at the shoreline) is a significant cause of coastal flooding induced by storms. Wave runup is challenging to predict, particularly along tropical coral reef‐fringed coastlines due to the steep bathymetric profiles and large bottom roughness generated by reef organisms, which can violate assumptions in conventional models applied to open sandy coastlines. To investigate the mechanisms of wave‐driven water level variability on a reef‐fringed coastline, we performed a set of laboratory flume experiments on an along‐shore uniform bathymetric profile with and without bottom roughness. Wave setup and waves at frequencies lower than the incident sea‐swell forcing (infragravity...
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Spur and groove (SAG) formations are found on the fore reefs of many coral reefs worldwide. Although these formations are primarily present in wave‐dominated environments, their effect on wave‐driven hydrodynamics is not well understood. A two‐dimensional, depth‐averaged, phase‐resolving nonlinear Boussinesq model (funwaveC) was used to model hydrodynamics on a simplified SAG system. The modeling results show that the SAG formations together with shoaling waves induce a nearshore Lagrangian circulation pattern of counter‐rotating circulation cells. The mechanism driving the modeled flow is an alongshore imbalance between the pressure gradient (PG) and nonlinear wave (NLW) terms in the momentum balance. Variations...
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The rugosity or complexity of the seafloor has been shown to be an important ecological parameter for fish, algae, and corals. Historically, rugosity has been measured either using simple and subjective manual methods such as ‘chain-and-tape’ or complicated and expensive geophysical methods. Here, we demonstrate the application of structure-from-motion (SfM) photogrammetry to generate high-resolution, three-dimensional bathymetric models of a fringing reef from existing underwater video collected to characterize the seafloor. SfM techniques are capable of achieving spatial resolution that can be orders of magnitude greater than large-scale lidar and sonar mapping of coral reef ecosystems. The resulting data provide...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Coral Reefs
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Coral reef communities on the Island of Hawaii have been heavily affected by the construction of Kawaihae Harbor in the 1950s and by subsequent changes in land use in the adjacent watershed. Sedimentation and other forms of land-based pollution have led to declines in water quality and coral reef health over the past two decades (Tissot, 1998). Erosion mitigation efforts are underway on land, and there is a need to evaluate the impact of these actions on the adjacent coastal ecosystem. The Kohala Center and Kohala Watershed Partnership was awarded $2.69 million from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Restoration Center as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
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Time-series measurements of waves, currents, water levels, sea surface temperatures, ocean salinity, and water, air, and ground temperatures were collected in July through September 2011 in and around Arey Lagoon, near Barter Island, Alaska. Directional wave spectra, currents, water levels, salinity, and bottom and surface water temperatures were measured with a bottom-mounted 1MHz Nortek AWAC, HOBO temperature loggers, and a Solinst Levelogger in ~5m water depth offshore of Arey Island. Within Arey Lagoon, a bottom-mounted frame equipped with a Nortek 1MHz Aquadopp, Solinst Levelogger, and HOBO temperature loggers measured currents, water levels, and water temperatures. Ground temperatures (maximum depth 3 meters...
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Time-series measurements of waves, currents, water levels, sea surface temperatures, ocean salinity, and water, air, and ground temperatures were collected in July through September 2011 in and around Arey Lagoon, near Barter Island, Alaska. Directional wave spectra, currents, water levels, salinity, and bottom and surface water temperatures were measured with a bottom-mounted 1MHz Nortek AWAC, HOBO temperature loggers, and a Solinst Levelogger in ~5m water depth offshore of Arey Island. Within Arey Lagoon, a bottom-mounted frame equipped with a Nortek 1MHz Aquadopp, Solinst Levelogger, and HOBO temperature loggers measured currents, water levels, and water temperatures. Ground temperatures (maximum depth 3 meters...
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Time series data of water surface elevation and wave height were acquired at ten locations for 517 days (in three separate deployments) off the north coast of Roi-Namur Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, in support of a study on the coastal circulation patterns and the transformation of surface waves over the coral reefs. The relative placement of sensors on the reefs were as follows: ROI13W1 and ROI13E1 – fore reef ROI13W2 and ROI13E2 – outer reef flat ROI13W1 and ROI13E1 – middle reef flat ROI13W1 and ROI13E1 – inner reef flat
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A 6-month deployment of instrumentation from April to October 2012 in 90 m water depth near the outer edge of the mid-shelf mud belt in southern Monterey Bay, California, reveals the importance regional upwelling on water column density structure, potentially accounting for the majority of the variability in internal tidal energy flux across the shelf. Observations consisted of time-series measurements of water-column currents, temperature and salinity, and near-bed currents and suspended matter. The internal tide accounted for 15–25% of the water-column current variance and the barotropic tide accounted for up to 35%. The subtidal flow showed remarkably little shear and was dominated by the 7–14 day band, which...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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Waves are the dominant influence on coastal morphology and ecosystem structure of tropical Pacific islands. Wave heights, periods, and directions for the 21st century were projected using near-surface wind fields from four atmosphere-ocean coupled global climate models (GCM) under representative concentration pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5. GCM-derived wind fields forced the global WAVEWATCH-III wave model to generate hourly time-series of bulk wave parameters around 25 islands in the mid to western tropical Pacific Ocean for historical (1976–2005), mid-, and end-of-century time periods. Extreme significant wave heights decreased (~10.0%) throughout the 21st century under both climate scenarios compared to historical...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Global and Planetary Change
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A coupled wave-circulation numerical model of Hanalei Bay, Hawaii, was constructed to investigate controls on nearshore hydrodynamics and overall circulation of a bathymetrically-complex coral reef embayment that is exposed to large waves and river floods several times per annum. The model was calibrated using in situ data representative of the two conditions that dominate the region's wave climate: one associated with local trade winds and associated trade-wind waves, and the other with distant-source episodic large swells. The model results were improved by including spatially-varying hydrodynamic bed roughness and making the semi-empirical wave-breaking parameter dependent on incident wave steepness and reef...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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Fine-grained sediment (silt and clay) enters coastal waters from rivers, eroding coastal bluffs, resuspension of seabed sediment, and human activities such as dredging and beach nourishment. The amount of sediment in coastal waters is an important factor in ocean ecosystem health, but little information exists on both the natural and human-driven magnitudes of fine-grained sediment delivery to the coastal zone, its residence time there, and its transport out of the system—information upon which to base environmental assessments. To help fill these information gaps, the U.S. Geological Survey has partnered with Federal, State, and local agencies to monitor fine-grained sediment dispersal patterns and fate in the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Fact Sheet
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To understand how chronic sediment burial and scour contribute to variation in the structure of algal and invertebrate communities on temperate bedrock reefs, the dynamics of the substrate and communities were monitored at locations that experience sand inundation and adjacent areas that do not. Co-located benthic scuba-transect surveys and high-resolution swath-sonar surveys were completed on bedrock reefs on the inner shelf of northern Monterey Bay, CA, in early winter 2009, spring 2010, and summer 2010. Analysis of the sonar surveys demonstrates that during the 8 months over which the surveys were conducted, 19.6% of the study area was buried by sand while erosion resulted in the exposure of bedrock over 13.8%...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Continental Shelf Research
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Several sequential upwelling events were observed in fall 2012, using measurements from the outer half of the continental shelf in Monterey Bay, during which the infiltration of dense water onto the shelf created a secondary, near-bottom pycnocline. This deep pycnocline existed in concert with the near-surface pycnocline and enabled the propagation of near-bottom, cold, semidiurnal internal tidal bores, as well as energetic, high-frequency, nonlinear internal waves of elevation (IWOE). The IWOE occurred within 20 m of the bottom, had amplitudes of 8–24 m, periods of 6–45 min, and depth-integrated energy fluxes up to 200 W m−1. Iribarren numbers (<0.03) indicate that these IWOE were nonbreaking in this region of...
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Wave heights, periods, and directions were forecast for 2081–2100 using output from four coupled atmosphere–ocean global climate models for representative concentration pathway scenarios RCP4.5 and RCP8.5. Global climate model wind fields were used to drive the global WAVEWATCH-III wave model to generate hourly time-series of bulk wave parameters for 25 islands in the mid to western tropical Pacific. December–February 95th percentile extreme significant wave heights under both climate scenarios decreased by 2100 compared to 1976–2010 historical values. Trends under both scenarios were similar, with the higher-emission RCP8.5 scenario displaying a greater decrease in extreme significant wave heights than where emissions...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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This dataset (in ESRI file geodatabase format) contains inundation areas for various future scenarios of sea-level rise (SLR), groundwater rise, and storm waves at Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. Four types of inundation scenarios are considered: (1) passive SLR, (2) passive SLR including groundwater rise, (3) wave-driven inundation during storm events, and (4) wave-driven inundation during storm events including groundwater rise. For each of these four scenarios, five different levels of SLR are considered: 0.00 m, +0.50 m, +1.00 m, +1.50 m, and +2.00 m. We considered each scenario at mean high water in order to predict inundation during the more damaging part of the tidal range. Each of the...


map background search result map search result map Coastal circulation and sediment dynamics in Pelekane and Kawaihae Bays, Hawaii--measurements of waves, currents, temperature, salinity, turbidity, and geochronology: November 2010--March 2011 Fine-grained sediment dispersal along the California coast Burial and exhumation of temperate bedrock reefs as elucidated by repetitive high-resolution sea floor sonar surveys: Spatial patterns and impacts to species' richness and diversity The influence of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycles on wave-driven sea-floor sediment mobility along the central California continental margin Roi-Namur Island, Marshall Islands, wave and water level data, 2013-2015 Conductivity, temperature and depth time-series data collected in 2011 in the vicinity of Arey Lagoon and Barter Island, Alaska Ground temperature time-series data collected in 2011 in the vicinity of Arey Lagoon and Barter Island, Alaska Roi-Namur Island, Marshall Islands, wave and water level data, 2013-2015 Conductivity, temperature and depth time-series data collected in 2011 in the vicinity of Arey Lagoon and Barter Island, Alaska Ground temperature time-series data collected in 2011 in the vicinity of Arey Lagoon and Barter Island, Alaska Burial and exhumation of temperate bedrock reefs as elucidated by repetitive high-resolution sea floor sonar surveys: Spatial patterns and impacts to species' richness and diversity The influence of El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycles on wave-driven sea-floor sediment mobility along the central California continental margin Fine-grained sediment dispersal along the California coast Coastal circulation and sediment dynamics in Pelekane and Kawaihae Bays, Hawaii--measurements of waves, currents, temperature, salinity, turbidity, and geochronology: November 2010--March 2011