Fringing coral reefs are vulnerable to terrestrial influence, particularly if the adjacent watershed is undergoing land use changes (e.g. expanding residential areas, agriculture). Sediment and nutrients discharged from the watershed may adversely affect the coral reef ecosystem. Characterizing watershed discharge of sediments and subsequent fate and transport within the coral reef is crucial in formulating measures to protect the reef ecosystem. In this light, an intensive field survey was conducted in Votua reef and in the surrounding watershed area. The survey utilized various data-logging sensors to measure several hydrodynamic and water quality parameters. The survey is a collaborative work of Tokyo Institute of Technology, USP-IAS (under Prof. Bill Aalbersberg) and Reef Explorer (Dr. Victor Bonito).

The main objectives of this field survey
・Characterize sediment discharge from Votua watershed
・Understand hydrodynamic and water quality characteristics in Votua Reef in order to assess the effects of sediments (and nutrients) discharged from Votua watershed.

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Meeting with local people

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Sensor deployment

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Monitoring sediment discharge from Votua watershed