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Sticky waters in the Great Barrier Reef
Wolanski, E.; Spagnol, S. (2000). Sticky waters in the Great Barrier Reef. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 50: 27-32
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0272-7714, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 36001 [ OMA ]


Authors  Top 
  • Wolanski, E., more
  • Spagnol, S.

    The Great Barrier Reef is a mosaic of regions of high and low reef density. Current meter observations upstream from a region of high reef density revealed that the tidal and low-frequency currents were steered away from the region during spring tides but not during neap tides. A mathematical model suggests that this effect was due to both tidal friction and to the dissipation of energy by eddies behind reefs at spring tides. For a high reef density region, this results in a longer residence time at spring tides than at neap tides. Conversely, this effect also diminishes connectivity between regions of high and low reef density at spring tides. This process may affect the recruitment and dispersion of fish and other larvae in the Great Barrier Reef. It may also invalidate the use of satellite altimetry and tidal harmonic analysis for currents in the Great Barrier Reef.

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