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GEOREF RECORD

Coral islands defy sea-level rise over the past century; records from a central Pacific atoll

P. S. Kench, D. Thompson, M. R. Ford, H. Ogawa and R. F. McLean
Coral islands defy sea-level rise over the past century; records from a central Pacific atoll
Geology (Boulder) (April 2015) 43 (6): 515-518

Abstract

The geological stability and existence of low-lying atoll nations is threatened by sea-level rise and climate change. Funafuti Atoll, in the tropical Pacific Ocean, has experienced some of the highest rates of sea-level rise ( approximately 5.1 + or - 0.7 mm/yr), totaling approximately 0.30 + or - 0.04 m over the past 60 yr. We analyzed six time slices of shoreline position over the past 118 yr at 29 islands of Funafuti Atoll to determine their physical response to recent sea-level rise. Despite the magnitude of this rise, no islands have been lost, the majority have enlarged, and there has been a 7.3% increase in net island area over the past century (A.D. 1897-2013). There is no evidence of heightened erosion over the past half-century as sea-level rise accelerated. Reef islands in Funafuti continually adjust their size, shape, and position in response to variations in boundary conditions, including storms, sediment supply, as well as sea level. Results suggest a more optimistic prognosis for the habitability of atoll nations and demonstrate the importance of resolving recent rates and styles of island change to inform adaptation strategies.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 43
Serial Issue: 6
Title: Coral islands defy sea-level rise over the past century; records from a central Pacific atoll
Affiliation: University of Auckland, School of Environment, Auckland, New Zealand
Pages: 515-518
Published: 20150427
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
Number of pages: unpaginated
References: 22
Accession Number: 2015-049843
Categories: GeomorphologyEnvironmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch maps
S08°34'60" - S08°30'00", E179°04'60" - E179°10'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of New South Wales, AUS, Australia
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201523
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