Characterization Of Very Low Frequency Wave Energy Distribution In A Coral Reef-Lagoon System


  • MYRIAM BELKADI Géosciences-Montpellier, University of Montpellier, CNRS, France
  • FREDERIC BOUCHETTE Géosciences-Montpellier, University of Montpellier, CNRS, France
  • FRANCE FLOC’H Université de Brest, CNRS, Geo-Ocean UMR6538, F-29280 Plouzané, France
  • MARION TISSIER Delft University of Technology, Stevinweg 1, 2628CN Delft, The Netherlands
  • DAMIE SOUS Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, E2S-UPPA, SIAME, Anglet, France



Wave Transformation, Reef Barrier, Long Waves


In a coral reef system, the reef barrier protects the lagoon from incoming ocean waves favoring the development of a relatively calm ecosystem in the middle of a much more energetic domain. Incident sea-swell waves (SS)  are filtered and transformed while passing over the reef ; and simultaneously long waves (with usually wave periods greater than 20 s in such a context) are generated. These long waves are important drivers for marine submersion along low-lying islands. Thus, for several years, the scientific community has increased its effort in the understanding of reef-lagoon wave energy spectral distribution. In particular, works have focused on the origin of infragravity waves (IG) classically observed in the frequency band [0.004 ; 0.04] Hz. It has been shown that IG are forced mainly by wave groups, either through the release of incoming bound waves or through the oscillation of the breaking point. Waves and IG overpassing the reef might also drive the emergence of much longer waves termed VLF (Very Low Frequency) waves, some of which being possibly resonant waves (Gawehn et al., 2016), a category of long waves that are still poorly understood in reef-lagoon context.

The aim of this study is to explore a set of pressure time series measured on a reef-lagoon system in French Polynesia in order to characterize the spatial, frequency and temporal distribution of  IG / VLF energy. An additional purpose is to create a methodology capable of identifying, in pressure time series, any type of long wave developing in the IG / VLF bands.




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