The wave regimes of the Central Pacific Ocean with a focus on pearl farming atolls

Type Article
Date 2021-01
Language English
Author(s) Dutheil Cyril1, 2, 3, Jullien SwenORCID4, Aucan J.1, Menkes C.1, Le Gendre RomainORCID5, Andréfouët S.1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, UMR 9220 ENTROPIE (Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement, Université de la Réunion, Université de Nouvelle-Calédonie, Ifremer, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), BP A5, 98848 Nouméa Cedex, New Caledonia
2 : IRD, LOCEAN (UMR 7159), BP A5, 98848 Nouméa Cedex, New Caledonia
3 : Department of Physical Oceanography and Instrumentation, Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde, Rostock, Germany
4 : Ifremer, Univ. Brest, CNRS, IRD, Laboratoire d'Océanographie Physique et Spatiale (LOPS), IUEM, Plouzané, France
5 : IFREMER, ENTROPIE (UMR 9220), Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Université de la Réunion, Université de Nouvelle-Calédonie, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, BP 32078, 98897 Noumea Cedex, New Caledonia
Source Marine Pollution Bulletin (0025-326X) (Elsevier BV), 2021-01 , Vol. 162 , P. 111751 (11p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2020.111751
WOS© Times Cited 1
Keyword(s) Wave regimes, Atoll hydrodynamics, Atoll rim, Tuamotu, Cook Islands, WaveWatchlll
Abstract

Pearl farming sustainability in South Central Pacific (SCP) atolls strongly depends on water quality and renewal. These factors are partly controlled by the wave conditions that impact the lagoon circulation. To characterize the wave conditions around 83 SCP atolls including those hosting pearl farming activities, we used 18 years of WaveWatchIII simulation with a grid refined from 50 to 5 km resolution. Three regional wave regimes are statistically identified: two associated with long distant swells originating from mid-latitude storms, and one with local trade winds. All regimes occur with a relatively high frequency (22–44%), but with a marked seasonality. Wave conditions are also strongly modified locally during their propagation between the archipelagoes. Western and southern isolated atolls generally have a single regime all around their rims. In contrast, central Tuamotu atolls experience different regimes depending on their levels of protection. These results help understanding atoll hydrodynamics, which has implications for their management.

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