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Journal of Ocean University of China

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 763–772 | Cite as

Numerical Simulation for Shallow Strata Stability of Coral Reef in the Southwest of Yongshu Reef (South China Sea)

  • Qinqin Tang
  • Jinchang Zhang
  • Yingci Feng
  • Jian Li
  • Yantao Yao
  • Jie Sun
  • Wenhuan Zhan
Article

Abstract

In recent years, infrastructure construction on coral reefs has been increasingly developed. Therefore, the shallow strata stability of coral reefs in the South China Sea should be evaluated. This study aims to investigate the profiles for the shallow strata of coral reefs in the southwest of the Yongshu Reef, particularly in the hydrodynamic marine environment, and to establish a geological model for numerical simulation using Geo-Studio. The shallow strata of the coral reefs include mass gravel, sand gravel, mid-coarse sand, silty sand, fine sand, and reef limestone. The shallow reef slope near the lagoon is similar to a ‘layer cake’, in which the side close to the sea is analogous to a ‘block cake’. The simulation results showed that coral reef stability depends on wave loads and earthquake strength and on the physical properties of coral reefs. The factor of safety for the outer reef is greater than 10.0 under static, wave, and seismic conditions; this indicated that the outer reefs were less affected by waves and earthquakes. However, the factor of safety next to the lagoon varied from 0.1 to 5.3. The variation was primarily caused by the thick strata of coral reefs close to the sea (reef limestone, typically with the thickness > 10 m and equivalent to a block). The soil and rock layers in the coral reef strata with thicknesses < 10 m showed weak engineering geological characteristics. Our findings can provide useful information to future construction projects on coral reefs.

Key words

coral reefs rock mass structure stability evaluation numerical simulation 

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Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was funded by the Science and Technology Basic Resources Investigation Program of China (No. 2017 FY201406), the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (No. XDA13010104), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 41376063, 41606069 and 41776058), the National Basic Research Program of China (No. 2013CB956104), and the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province in China (Nos. 2015A030310374 and 2017A030313243). We thank the anonymous reviewers for careful and constructive comments that helped to improve the manuscript significantly.

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Copyright information

© Science Press, Ocean University of China and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qinqin Tang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jinchang Zhang
    • 1
  • Yingci Feng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jian Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yantao Yao
    • 1
  • Jie Sun
    • 1
  • Wenhuan Zhan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Ocean and Marginal Sea Geology, CASGuangzhouChina
  2. 2.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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