Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Good reefs provide good coastal protection

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by staff writers
Princeton, N.J. (UPI) Dec 18, 2006
U.S. scientists say healthy coral reefs provide adjacent coastlines with more protection from tsunamis than do unhealthy or dead reefs.

Spurred by the tsunami that devastated Indian Ocean coastlines two years ago, Princeton University scientists developed the first computer model of a tsunami strike against a reef-bounded shoreline, using a volcanic island as an example.

The model, which demonstrates healthy reefs offer the coast at least twice as much protection as dead reefs, provides the first quantitative confirmation of a widely held theory regarding the value of living coral reefs as a defense against tsunamis.

Geosciences Professor Michael Oppenheimer said his team's work will give scientists the ability to quantify how much a reef will benefit its stretch of coast.

"Healthy reefs have rougher surfaces, which provide friction that slows the waves substantially in comparison with smoother, unhealthy ones," said Oppenheimer. "Scientists had never before studied this effect by the numbers, nor had they ever analyzed it over a wide variety of coastal shapes. This study provides yet another motivating factor for protecting the planet's coral reefs from degradation."

The study appears in the Dec. 14 issue of the journal Geophysical Review Letters.

Related Links

Scientists create terror attack sensor net
Oak Ridge, Tenn. (UPI) Dec 18, 2006
U.S. government scientists, working with Enterra Solutions LLC of Yardley, Pa., have developed a sensor system designed to help identify a terrorist attack.

  • Scientists create terror attack sensor net
  • Good reefs provide good coastal protection
  • Tsunami Anniversary Special: 2 Years On
  • Analysis: Clooney expands Darfur effort

  • Climate scientists warn of overconfidence
  • Overconfidence Leads To Bias In Climate Change Estimations
  • 2006 Set To Be Sixth Warmest On Record Says WMO
  • Gingerbread Houses Latest Victim Of Global Warming

  • Europe Ready To TANGO With New EO Constellation
  • COSMIC Provides Better Weather Forecasts, Climate Data
  • China To Launch 22 More Meteorological Satellites By 2020
  • Jason-1 Celebrates Five Years In Orbit - Ocean Data Continues To Flow

  • B-52 Flight Uses Synthetic Fuel In All Eight Engines
  • Easy Come, Easy Go: Shell And Sakhalin
  • Stripes And Superconductivity - Two Faces of the Same Coin
  • Russian Capabilities Benefit The Hydrogen Economy

  • Surgery deemed safe for HIV patients
  • Malaria Kills 21 People In Flood-Hit Somalia, Toll Climbs To 141
  • Common PTSD Drug Is No More Effective Than Placebo
  • Freed China Activist Says AIDS Problem Far Exceeds Official Data

  • Study looks at evolution of bird flight
  • Important New Zealand fossil find reported
  • China's white-flag dolphins may be extinct
  • Moths' hearing study has surprising result

  • U.S. government contamination study begins
  • Uruguay Takes Argentina To International Court Over River Blocks
  • EU Nations Adopt Controversial REACH Chemical Bill
  • Underground Air Might Cause DNA Damage

  • Ancient Ape Ruled Out Of Man's Ancestral Line
  • Concrete Blocks Used In Great Pyramids Construction
  • Gendered Division Of Labor Gave Modern Humans Advantage Over Neanderthals
  • Genetic Variation Shows We're More Different Than We Thought

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement