With a recent grant from the Physical Oceanography program at NSF, we (J. Alonso, S. Monismith, C.B. Woodson, V. Chirayath [grad student], J. Rogers [post-doc], S. Maticka [grad student], B. Hefner [grad student]) are conducting high resolution measurements to determine the drivers of coral reef circulation in shallow fringing reefs on Ofu, American Samoa.
We will be using a UAV to develop 3D maps of the shallow back reef and extensive measurements to quantify pressure gradients, volumetric flow rates, and drag coefficients. Using our results we will develop parameterizations for coastal ocean circulation models. We also aim to understand how the hydrodynamics of this reef influence the reef carbon cycle and exposure to ocean acidification.