Atoll lagoon flushing forced by waves

Callaghan, D.P., Nielsen, P., Cartwright, N., Gourlay, M.R. and Baldock, T.E. (2006) Atoll lagoon flushing forced by waves. Coastal Engineering, 53 8: 691-704. doi:10.1016/j.coastaleng.2006.02.006

Author Callaghan, D.P.
Nielsen, P.
Cartwright, N.
Gourlay, M.R.
Baldock, T.E.
Title Atoll lagoon flushing forced by waves
Journal name Coastal Engineering   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-3839
Publication date 2006-06
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.coastaleng.2006.02.006
Volume 53
Issue 8
Start page 691
End page 704
Total pages 14
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2006
Language eng
Subject 290899 Civil Engineering not elsewhere classified
770400 Coastal and Estuarine Environment
0905 Civil Engineering
090599 Civil Engineering not elsewhere classified
Abstract Water level and current measurements from two virtually enclosed South Pacific atolls, Manihiki and Rakahanga, support a new lagoon flushing mechanism which is driven by waves and modulated by the ocean tide for virtually enclosed atolls. This is evident because the lagoon water level remains above the ocean at all tidal phases (i.e., ruling out tidal flushing) and because the average lagoon water level rises significantly during periods with large waves. Hence, we develop a model by which the lagoons are flushed by waves pumping of ocean water into the lagoon and gravity draining water from the lagoon over the reef rim. That is, the waves on the exposed side push water into the lagoon during most of the tidal cycle while water leaves the lagoon on the protected side for most of the tidal cycle. This wave-driven through flow flushing is shown to be more efficient than alternating tidal flushing with respect to water renewal. Improved water quality should therefore be sought through enhancement of the natural wave pumping rather than by blasting deep channels which would change the system to an alternating tide-driven one.
Keyword Atoll Lagoon Flushing
Water quality
Wave pumping
Wave set-up
Pearl farming
References Atoll lagoon flushing; Hydrodynamics; Water quality; Wave pumping; Modelling; Wave set-up; Pearl farming
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 07:57:54 EST