The Understanding Flooding on Reef-lined Island Coasts (UFORIC) Working Group works to develop action plans that can be used globally, regionally, and nationally to help guide research and development activities related to understanding and predicting flooding along tropical coral reef-lined shorelines over the coming years. 

Name Organisation
Curt Stolazzi USGS, US
William Skirving NOAA, US
Ron Hoeke  CSIRO, Australia 
Ap van Dongeren Deltares, Netherlands
Robert McCall Deltares, Netherlands 
John Marra NOAA, US 

 Major focus areas of the Working Group

1) The need for early-warning systems to provide short-term forecasts of flooding on the order of days. Short-term forecasts are dominated by tides, wind-waves, local wave set-up, and barometric pressure. The goal is for disaster risk reduction by reducing risk to life and assets by providing a warning to increase preparedness or allow for evacuation.

2) The greatest needs to develop early-warning systems include: coral reef bathymetry and island topography; in situ wave, water level, and flooding observations to calibrate and validate numerical models of wave-driven flooding over coral reefs; and the study of records from past flooding events to define local event thresholds.

3) The need for future scenarios of flooding focused on the timeframe of decades, starting in a few decades. Long-term projections are primarily governed by sea-level rise, wind and wave climates, coral reef biogeomorphology and sediment budgets, and anthropogenic impacts. The goal is to provide guidance to prioritize planning to mitigate or adapt to forecasted impacts and thus increase the resiliency of coastal communities.

4) The greatest needs to develop future projections include: downscaled pressure and wind fields for more accurate future wave modeling; historic coastal change data, especially island vertical development; carbonate sediment budgets; and coral reef and island coring to understand how they have evolved over recent changes in sea level.

Kick Off Workshop 

A kick off meeting for the working group was held on 5-7 February 2018 in Honolulu, HI. At the workshop, a group of about 30 experts were brought together from around the globe to foster collaboration and assess the state of knowledge of the different factors that control the spatial extent, timing, frequency, and magnitude of coastal flooding along tropical coral reef-lined coasts. 

Workshop Report 


Working Group Projects

Wave-driven Flood-forecasting on Reef-lined Coasts Early Warning System

Background Low-lying coral reef-lined islands and coasts are vulnerable to marine flooding. These events are a result of a combination of sea surface elevation and wave height, and can cause severe flooding even on windless, sunny days. Increasing resilience of coastal communities will be a key to the continued inhabitance of these islands and coastal […]