Small tropical islands and the sea

Montag, 20. Juli 2015 - 10:30 Uhr
GEO-Gebäude, Raum 1550 (Hörsaal)
Thomas Mann

Reef islands are low-lying accumulations of reef-derived carbonate sediments and provide the only habitable land area for Indo-Pacific island nations. The physical stability of these islands is threatened by global sea-level rise and local residents are frequently confronted with potential relocation-scenarios as a result of climate change. If sea-level rise causes shoreline erosion can be assessed by a shoreline-change analysis using remote-sensing data that covers timescales of several decades, or by reconstructing the formation of reef islands with respect to Holocene sea-level changes. In this presentation, both aspects are considered. The importance of timescales is discussed as well as potential pitfalls during a shoreline change analysis and during the reconstruction of island accumulation on reef platforms respectively. Results show that study islands are inherently dynamic and an explicit awareness of all processes affecting sediment transport is necessary for a better understanding of their dynamic response to future sea-level rise.