How to Cite

IMPLICATIONS OF CORAL REEF MINING PITS ON 2D HYDRODYNAMICS. (2020). Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 36v, waves.28.


Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among the most vulnerable areas to the impact of natural hazards and climate change. Flooding due to storm surges and extreme waves, coastal erosion, and salinization of freshwater lenses are already a serious threat and could lead to irreversible consequences in the coming decades. On the other hand, reef flat mining is one of the most common practices to source the required material for the implementation of coastal protection measures on SIDS. There are strong concerns about this practice, because partial removal of the protective reef could increase wave impacts on the islands. However, the available data and knowledge on the effects of these mining pits are currently very limited. Klaver et al. (2019) studied the effects that pits may have on nearshore hydrodynamics and wave runup. Results obtained via numerical modeling indicate that excavation pits cause a decrease in infragravity wave energy around the fundamental mode of the reef, which is partly caused by reduced wave transmission. Similarly, changes in sea and swell (SS) wave energy are attributed to reduced transmission, as well as a decrease in wave dissipation and (triad) wave-wave interaction. Earlier studies by Ford et al. (2013) and Yao et al. (2016) point out that mining pits may lead to additional two-dimensional effects. In this presentation, we present the potential 2D effects of reef flat excavation pits on nearshore hydrodynamics. More specifically, we aim to assess the impact of excavation pits on nearshore circulation patterns, which could be an indicator of coastal morphological changes.

Recorded Presentation from the vICCE (YouTube Link):


Ford, Becker, Merrifield (2013). Reef flat wave processes and excavation pits: Observations and implications for Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands. Journal of Coastal Research, 288(3), 545– 554.

Klaver, Nederhoff, Giardino, Tissier, Dongeren, & Spek (2019). Impact of coral reef mining pits on nearshore hydrodynamics and wave runup during extreme wave events. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124.

Yao, Becker, Ford, Merrifield (2016). Modeling wave processes over fringing reefs with an excavation pit. Coastal Engineering, 109, 9– 19.

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