Journal of Physical Oceanography
Observations of waves, setup, and wave-driven mean flows were made on a steep coral forereef and its associated lagoonal system on the north shore of Moorea, French Polynesia. Despite the steep and complex geometry of the forereef, and wave amplitudes that are nearly equal to the mean water depth, linear wave theory showed very good agreement with data. Measurements across the reef illustrate the importance of including both wave transport (due to Stokes drift), as well as the Eulerian mean transport when computing the fluxes over the reef. Finally, the observed setup closely follows the theoretical relationship derived from classic radiation stress theory although, the two parameters that appear in the model, one reflecting wave breaking, the other the effective depth over the reef crest, must be chosen to match theory to data.