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On the small‐scale fractal geometrical structure of a living coral reef barrier

Abstract : Topographical complexity of coral reefs is of primary importance for a number of hydrodynamical and ecological processes. The present study is based on a series of high‐resolution seabottom elevation measurements along the Maupiti barrier reef, French Polynesia. Several statistical metrics and spectral analysis are used to characterize the spatial evolution of the coral geometrical structure from the reef crest to the backreef. A consistent fractal‐like power law exists in the spectral density of bottom elevation for length‐scales between 0.1 and 7m while, at larger scale, the reef structure shows a different pattern. Such a fine characterization of the reef geometrical structure provides key elements to reconstruct the reef history, to improve the representation of reef roughness in hydrodynamical models and to monitor the evolution of coral reef systems in the global change context.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 15, 2020 - 2:38:15 PM
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Damien Sous, Frédéric Bouchette, Erik Doerflinger, Samuel Meulé, Raphael Certain, et al.. On the small‐scale fractal geometrical structure of a living coral reef barrier. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Wiley, In press, ⟨10.1002/esp.4950⟩. ⟨hal-02899640⟩



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