[Coral-List] Surveys for tsunami damage

David Obura dobura at africaonline.co.ke
Thu Jan 6 00:28:09 EST 2005

Dear listers,

As many of you are, CORDIO and the people we are working with in the
affected areas are trying to rapidly put together a list of survey
techniques that can be used to help identify the impacts of the tsunami to
coral reefs. It would make sense for a wider discussion to happen on this,
so that datasets and reports that come out in the next months and years are
more or less comparable, and that also we minimize the chance of leaving out
an indicator that may prove important in a few years time. We are looking at
surveys that:

* are compatible with long term monitoring datasets, sites and sampling
* combine initial rapid assessment observations (in the next few weeks and
perhaps months) with more detailed methods to be done at selected permanent
(old and new) sites
* indicators of tsunami damage ­ the main damage agents we identified so far
seem to be: from the initial waves: physical damage from the waves breaking
(shallow to mid depth?) damage from surge (going deeper); and from the
backwash: sedimentation, physical damage from debris,
eutrophication/smothering/disease from terrestrial sediment, and
acute/chronic versions of these.

Questions to address are:
* are there other factors that need to be considered  - its worth listing
all, so that people can select from a list
* are there methods that have specifically been developed for similar
instances (e.g. Cyclone damage, flooding damage, etc)
* Reefbase has already come quickly to the plate to receive news of impacts,
but it would be useful to establish a loose network, probably under GCRMN
and coordinating reporting through Reefbase to  know more about who is
surveying where, for how long, results, etc ...
* beyond the biophysical monitroing, there will then be socioeconomic
assessments as well, but perhaps some time after the trauma of the human
tragedy has receded ­ it still seems too fresh and awful.

Impacts of the tsunami will no doubt  be an agenda item at the ICRI CPC in
the Seychelles in April, so it would be good to have some coordination and
coherence from the science and assessments prior to that, and to help make
sense of the human suffering and long term implications.

All best,



CORDIO East Africa
8 Kibaki Flats, Kenyatta Beach, Bamburi Beach
P.O.BOX 10135 Mombasa, Kenya
Tel/fax: +254-41-548 6473; Mobile: 0733-851656
Email: dobura at cordio.info


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