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Ocean Science An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-80
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2020-80
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  07 Sep 2020

07 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Response of tidal flow regime and sediment transport in North Male' Atoll, Maldives to coastal modification and sea level rise

Shuaib Rasheed1, Simon C. Warder1, Yves Plancherel1,2, and Matthew D. Piggott1 Shuaib Rasheed et al.
  • 1Department of Earth Science and Engineering, Imperial College London, UK
  • 2Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment, Imperial College London, UK

Abstract. Changes to coastlines and bathymetry alter tidal dynamics and associated sediment transport process, impacting upon a number of threats facing coastal regions, including flood risk and erosion. Especially vulnerable are coral atolls such as those that make up the Maldives archipelago which has undergone significant land reclamation in recent years and decades, and is also particularly exposed to sea level rise. Here we develop a tidal model of Male' Atoll, Maldives, and use it to assess potential changes to sediment grain size distributions under sea level rise and coastline alteration scenarios. The results indicate that the impact of coastline modification over the last two decades at the island scale is not limited to the immediate vicinity of the modified island, but can also significantly impact the sediment grain size distribution across the wider atoll basin. Additionally, the degree of change in sediment distribution which can be associated with sea level rise that is projected to occur over relatively long time periods is predicted to occur over far shorter time periods with coastline changes, highlighting the need to better understand, predict and mitigate the impact of land reclamation and other coastal modifications before conducting such activities.

Shuaib Rasheed et al.

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Shuaib Rasheed et al.

Shuaib Rasheed et al.

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Short summary
Environmental issues arising due to coastal modification and future sea level scenarios is the major environmental hazard facing the Maldives today. Here, we carry out high resolution tidal modelling of a Maldivian atoll for the first time and show that coastal modification in the island scale is capable of driving large scale change in the wider atoll basin in a short time, comparable to that of long term sea level rise scenarios and on par with observations.
Environmental issues arising due to coastal modification and future sea level scenarios is the...
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