Water circulation in fringing reef located in a monsoon area: Kabira Reef, Ishigaki Island, Southwest Japan

  • Yamano H
  • Kayanne H
  • Yonekura N
 et al. 
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Kabira Reef is a well-developed fringing reef situated in a monsoon area where the dominant wind direction changes seasonally: south in summer and north in winter. Circulation in this reef shows a marked wind influence. The circulation pattern under calm wind conditions is characterized by an inflow of ocean waters into the moat over the reef crest and an outflow through a prominent channel. Current vectors change according to wind conditions, and this pattern is weakened and strengthened under southern and northern wind conditions, respectively. We establish a simple model to explain these circulation patterns with two factors: wind and a fundamental circulation pattern under calm conditions. We estimate the ratios of the component of wind to that of the fundamental circulation. The ratios reach 3 and 10 in absolute values under southern and northern wind conditions, respectively. These results can be applied to water circulation throughout the year, with the southern wind-driven circulation dominant in the summer, and the northern wind-driven circulation dominant in the winter. While trade wind conditions often result in a constant circulation pattern, monsoonal wind conditions make the circulation pattern vary according to the seasons.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Fringing reef Monsoonal wind
  • Southwest Japan
  • Water circulation

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  • H. Yamano

  • H. Kayanne

  • N. Yonekura

  • H. Nakamura

  • K. Kudo

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