Field Michael E.

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Michael E.

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Article
    The use (and misuse) of sediment traps in coral reef environments : theory, observations, and suggested protocols
    (Springer, 2010-12-17) Storlazzi, Curt D. ; Field, Michael E. ; Bothner, Michael H.
    Sediment traps are commonly used as standard tools for monitoring “sedimentation” in coral reef environments. In much of the literature where sediment traps were used to measure the effects of “sedimentation” on corals, it is clear from deployment descriptions and interpretations of the resulting data that information derived from sediment traps has frequently been misinterpreted or misapplied. Despite their widespread use in this setting, sediment traps do not provide quantitative information about “sedimentation” on coral surfaces. Traps can provide useful information about the relative magnitude of sediment dynamics if trap deployment standards are used. This conclusion is based first on a brief review of the state of knowledge of sediment trap dynamics, which has primarily focused on traps deployed high above the seabed in relatively deep water, followed by our understanding of near-bed sediment dynamics in shallow-water environments that characterize coral reefs. This overview is followed by the first synthesis of near-bed sediment trap data collected with concurrent hydrodynamic information in coral reef environments. This collective information is utilized to develop nine protocols for using sediment traps in coral reef environments, which focus on trap parameters that researchers can control such as trap height (H), trap mouth diameter (D), the height of the trap mouth above the substrate (z o ), and the spacing between traps. The hydrodynamic behavior of sediment traps and the limitations of data derived from these traps should be forefront when interpreting sediment trap data to infer sediment transport processes in coral reef environments.
  • Article
    Sedimentation processes in a coral reef embayment : Hanalei Bay, Kauai
    (Elsevier B.V., 2009-06-08) Storlazzi, Curt D. ; Field, Michael E. ; Bothner, Michael H. ; Presto, M. K. ; Draut, Amy E.
    Oceanographic measurements and sediment samples were collected during the summer of 2006 as part of a multi-year study of coastal circulation and the fate of terrigenous sediment on coral reefs in Hanalei Bay, Kauai. The goal of this study was to better understand sediment dynamics in a coral reef-lined embayment where winds, ocean surface waves, and river floods are important processes. During a summer period that was marked by two wave events and one river flood, we documented significant differences in sediment trap collection rates and the composition, grain size, and magnitude of sediment transported in the bay. Sediment trap collection rates were well correlated with combined wave-current near-bed shear stresses during the non-flood periods but were not correlated during the flood. The flood's delivery of fine-grained sediment to the bay initially caused high turbidity and sediment collection rates off the river mouth but the plume dispersed relatively quickly. Over the next month, the flood deposit was reworked by mild waves and currents and the fine-grained terrestrial sediment was advected around the bay and collected in sediment traps away from the river mouth, long after the turbid surface plume was gone. The reworked flood deposits, due to their longer duration of influence and proximity to the seabed, appear to pose a greater long-term impact to benthic coral reef communities than the flood plumes themselves. The results presented here display how spatial and temporal differences in hydrodynamic processes, which result from variations in reef morphology and orientation, cause substantial variations in the deposition, residence time, resuspension, and advection of both reef-derived and fluvial sediment over relatively short spatial scales in a coral reef embayment.
  • Article
    Wave- and tidally-driven flow and sediment flux across a fringing coral reef : southern Molokai, Hawaii
    (Elsevier B.V., 2004-07-08) Storlazzi, Curt D. ; Ogston, Andrea S. ; Bothner, Michael H. ; Field, Michael E. ; Presto, M. K.
    The fringing coral reef off the south coast of Molokai, Hawaii is currently being studied as part of a US Geological Survey (USGS) multi-disciplinary project that focuses on geologic and oceanographic processes that affect coral reef systems. For this investigation, four instrument packages were deployed across the fringing coral reef during the summer of 2001 to understand the processes governing fine-grained terrestrial sediment suspension on the shallow reef flat (h=1 m) and its advection across the reef crest and onto the deeper fore reef. The time–series measurements suggest the following conceptual model of water and fine-grained sediment transport across the reef: Relatively cool, clear water flows up onto the reef flat during flooding tides. At high tide, more deep-water wave energy is able to propagate onto the reef flat and larger Trade wind-driven waves can develop on the reef flat, thereby increasing sediment suspension. Trade wind-driven surface currents and wave breaking at the reef crest cause setup of water on the reef flat, further increasing the water depth and enhancing the development of depth-limited waves and sediment suspension. As the tide ebbs, the water and associated suspended sediment on the reef flat drains off the reef flat and is advected offshore and to the west by Trade wind- and tidally- driven currents. Observations on the fore reef show relatively high turbidity throughout the water column during the ebb tide. It therefore appears that high suspended sediment concentrations on the deeper fore reef, where active coral growth is at a maximum, are dynamically linked to processes on the muddy, shallow reef flat.
  • Article
    Quantity, composition, and source of sediment collected in sediment traps along the fringing coral reef off Molokai, Hawaii
    (Elsevier B.V., 2006-03-20) Bothner, Michael H. ; Reynolds, Richard L. ; Casso, Michael A. ; Storlazzi, Curt D. ; Field, Michael E.
    Sediment traps were used to evaluate the frequency, cause, and relative intensity of sediment mobility/resuspension along the fringing coral reef off southern Molokai (February 2000–May 2002). Two storms with high rainfall, floods, and exceptionally high waves resulted in sediment collection rates > 1000 times higher than during non-storm periods, primarily because of sediment resuspension by waves. Based on quantity and composition of trapped sediment, floods recharged the reef flat with land-derived sediment, but had a low potential for burying coral on the fore reef when accompanied by high waves. The trapped sediments have low concentrations of anthropogenic metals. The magnetic properties of trapped sediment may provide information about the sources of land-derived sediment reaching the fore reef. The high trapping rate and low sediment cover indicate that coral surfaces on the fore reef are exposed to transient resuspended sediment, and that the traps do not measure net sediment accumulation on the reef surface.