Wave Attenuation and Shoreline Protection by a Fringing Reef System

Carla I. Elliff, Iracema R. Silva, Verónica Cánovas, Mauricio González

Abstract


While knowledge on coastal dynamics is essential to guarantee well-informed decision making, information is still scarce, particularly regarding areas with the presence of coral reefs and other complex ecosystems. The objective of the present study was to contribute towards the understanding of wave attenuation and shoreline protection at different tide moments by a fringing reef system located in a Southwestern Atlantic archipelago. The predominant directions of offshore waves adjacent to the archipelago were ESE, SE, E and SSE. Coral reefs demonstrated high efficiency in wave height attenuation even under higher energy conditions during high tides. Erosion hot-spots along the archipelago were associated with rip currents, which were greatly reduced or absent during low tides. Coral reef conservation is essential to maintain shoreline protection and information on reef geomorphology should be included in reef status protocols to help advance this field of knowledge.

Keywords


Wave climate; Coral reefs; Wave attenuation; SMC-Brasil

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.11137/2019_1_87_94

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