Experimental and numerical assessment of marine flood reduction by coral reefs

Faisal Karim, N. A.K. Nandasena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coral reefs are crucial components of oceanic ecosystems. Reefs play a vital role in providing habitats for marine life and serve as a natural wave barrier against high-energy marine floods generated by long-period waves such as tsunamis and storms. Here, we performed experimental studies and numerical analyses and compared the results to investigate coral reef-induced marine flood reduction. In this study, 3D-printed corals were used as they closely resembled actual coral reefs, and marine floods were generated using a rotatory crank system. The results showed that healthy corals decreased flow velocity and depth at the end of the coral zone by 22.2% and 13.5%, respectively. Different boundary wave characteristics and coral roughness were assessed using idealized bathymetry with a 1% gradient. Additionally, numerical simulations revealed that wave height reduction was as high as 51% for corals with a Manning roughness of 0.25. Both the experimental and numerical assessments indicate significant wave energy reduction, which was compared with non-dimensional parameters such as the Froude Number that showed similarity between the results and the ratio between water depth and coral extent, which differed owing to limitations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalNatural Hazards Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Coral reef
  • Experimental setup
  • Froude number
  • Non-dimensional parameters
  • Numerical modeling
  • Wave energy inundation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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