Circulation over coral reefs: from ocean scale to bommie scale (and back again)

Oct 15 2015 11:15 AM - Oct 15 2015 12:00 PM

​Seminar Title: Circulation over coral reefs: from ocean scale to bommie scale (and back again)

Date: Thursday ,15 October 2015

Time: 11:15am-12pm followed by light lunch

Location: Building 2 · Level 5 · Room 5209

Seminar Abstract:

Water motion is critical to coral reef systems, driving patterns in species distribution, morphology, biogeochemical processes, and species interactions. Therefore to understand biological and ecological patterns and function in coral reef systems it is critical to understand circulation and transport processes. However, coral reefs are also one of the most complex coastal systems from a hydrodynamic standpoint. Many coral reefs occur on islands or on steep, narrow shelves; thus, larger scale oceanographic forcing interacts directly with these shallow nearshore systems. Reefs are also geometrically complex, and reef topography varying at scales ranging from centimeters to kilometers, introducing another set of challenges to modeling and prediction. This seminar will explore physical processes on coral reefs across four scales: 1) island-scale (10 to 100-km); 2) bay/lagoon scale (1-km); 3) reef scale (10 to 100-m); and 4) bommie scale (0.1 to 1-m). Examples of these processes and physical-biological interactions will be drawn from on-going work in Moorea, French Polynesia.

Speaker: Jim Hench, Assistant Professor, Duke University 

Jim’s research focuses on fluid dynamics in the coastal ocean and its effects on transport processes. He uses field measurements, computational models, and theoretical analyses to understand fundamental physical processes in these systems. Jim also works extensively on interdisciplinary problems that have a significant physical component to better understand the effects of water motion on the geochemistry, biology, and ecology of shallow marine systems. Much of his work focuses on coral reef hydrodynamics and his lab leads the Physical Oceanographic component of the Moorea Coral Reef LTER project in French Polynesia. Jim’s current projects include: 1) wave-driven circulation and exchange in coral reef, lagoon, and pass systems; 2) extreme events and disturbances in coral reef systems; 3) understanding the effects of rough bottoms such as corals on circulation and scalar mixing; 4) larval transport around coral reef islands; and 5) the effects of wave forcing on corallivory.

Light lunch will be served after the seminar.

Thank you in advance for your interest and participation.