Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2021-109
https://doi.org/10.5194/os-2021-109

  18 Nov 2021

18 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal OS.

Clustering analysis of the Sargassum transport process: application to stranding prediction in the Lesser Antilles

Didier Clément Bernard1, Emmanuel Biabiany2, Raphaël Cécé1, Romual Chery1, and Naoufal Sekkat1 Didier Clément Bernard et al.
  • 1LARGE, University of the French West Indies, 97157 Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, France
  • 2LAMIA, University of the French West Indies, 97157 Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, France

Abstract. The massive Sargassum algae strandings observed over the past decade are the new natural hazard that currently impacts the island states of the Caribbean region (human health, environmental damages, and economic losses). This study aims to improve the prediction of the surface current dynamic leading to beachings in the Lesser Antilles, using clustering analysis methods. The input surface currents including windage effect were derived from the Mercator model and the Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model (HYCOM). Past daily observations of Sargassum stranding on Guadeloupe coasts were also integrated. Four representative current regimes were identified for both Mercator and HYCOM data. The analysis of the backward current sequences leading to strandings showed that the recurrence of two current regimes is related to the beaching peaks observed respectively in March and in August. A decision tree classifier was built and its accuracy reaches 73.3 % with 0.04°-scale HYCOM data and 50.8 % with 0.08°-scale Mercator data. This significant accuracy difference highlights the need of very small-scale current data (i.e., lower than 5 km scale) to assess coastal Sargassum hazard in the Lesser Antilles. The present clustering analysis predictive system would help improve this risk management in the islands of this region.

Didier Clément Bernard et al.

Status: open (until 13 Jan 2022)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse

Didier Clément Bernard et al.

Didier Clément Bernard et al.

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Short summary
The massive Sargassum algae strandings observed over the past decade are the new natural hazard that currently impacts the island states of the Caribbean region. This study aims to improve the prediction of the surface current dynamic leading to beachings in the Lesser Antilles, using clustering analysis methods. The present clustering analysis predictive system would help improve this risk management in the islands of this region.