By 2100, unless carbon dioxide emissions are reduced, most coral reefs will die, UNESCO said in an alarming report in 2017. But many of these natural wonders will disappear much sooner. “Within 10 to 30 years, most coral reefs inscribed on the World Heritage List are expected to lose their ability to survive global warming,” the warning read.
According to Dr. Tessier, coral beaches are among the most complex of all coastal types. Because if the bottom of a “normal” coastal zone slopes underwater, there is a sudden shift with coral. “It can break waves in a big storm,” she explains. According to the scientist, the shape and roughness of the coral also have an inhibitory effect. Then there’s also a kind of wave that under certain conditions gets pushed up into a high house in a reef plain, which can cause the waters to rise off the coast.
To better understand complex coastlines and to stop coral dying, it is important to know exactly how the waves change off the coast, says the French scientist. Not only has it been conducting research for months at Zandmotor in Kijkduin, but a water laboratory with a basin has also been re-established in Delft. Contains 384 3D Reef Replicas.
“We’re trying to simulate reality with a wave,” explains the coastal expert from French surfing paradise Biarritz. “We can mimic strong waves, but also long waves.” In a private water lab, the quantity and distance between the cuts of the artificial object are also varied. “We notice what happens to the waves and how much energy they lose due to the presence of coral.” In order to be able to truly gauge the impact of the extreme reels, Marion hopes to be able to immerse herself in delta flume By Deltaris Technical Institute of Water, a 300-meter long water gutter with a depth of about ten meters, can generate waves up to 4.5 meters.
All this with the ultimate goal of developing models to predict beach wave conditions, coastal movement and potential flooding. “These ideas could eventually help develop coastal protection strategies or prepare reef restoration programmes,” says the inspirational breakwater.