Coastal Processes and Engineering on a Micronesian Fringing Reef

by Stanley J. Boc, Jr., US Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Shafter, United States,
William J. Reynold, US Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Shafter, United States,
Jasmina M. Dobinchick, US Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Shafter, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Engineering Practice


In 1980, portions of the fringing reef flat protecting the village of Tafunsak, Federated States of Micronesia, were dredged to provide fill material for an airport runway access road. Subsequent to the dredging, Tafunsak experienced severe erosion immediately onshore of the dredge pits. This erosion has resulted in the village landowners filing a damage suit against the Government of the State of Kosrae and the Government of the United States of America, sponsors of the airfield project. Field investigations were made to determine the nature of the shore processes, the possible impact of the dredge pits as a cause of beach erosion, and to recommed mitigation measures for the shoreline region experiencing erosion. It was found that, while shoreline erosion was common around the entire island, it was particularly severe onshore of the dredge pits. It was also found that the pits were being filled with sediment moving from the reef toward the shore, giving clear evidence that the Tafunsak beaches were being deprived of natural nourishment across the reef flat. Mitigation measures investigated included construction of a rock revetment, beach nourishment, and relocation of cultural features inland. The most promising options were designed. Present land use practices were taken into consideration in making a recommended plan-of-action.

Subject Headings: Erosion | Dredged materials | Airport and airfield pavements | Field tests | Shoreline | Coastal processes | Sea water | Dredging | Micronesia | Oceania | United States

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