The influence of extreme winds on coastal oceanography and its implications for coral population connectivity in the southern Arabian Gulf

Geórgenes H. Cavalcante, David A. Feary, John Burt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Using long-term oceanographic surveys and a 3-D hydrodynamic model we show that localized peak winds (known as shamals) cause fluctuation in water current speed and direction, and substantial oscillations in sea-bottom salinity and temperature in the southern Persian/Arabian Gulf. Results also demonstrate that short-term shamal winds have substantial impacts on oceanographic processes along the southern Persian/Arabian Gulf coastline, resulting in formation of large-scale (52 km diameter) eddies extending from the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to areas near the off-shore islands of Iran. Such eddies likely play an important role in transporting larvae from well-developed reefs of the off-shore islands to the degraded reef systems of the southern Persian/Arabian Gulf, potentially maintaining genetic and ecological connectivity of these geographically distant populations and enabling enhanced recovery of degraded coral communities in the UAE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)489-497
Number of pages9
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 30 2016



  • Arabian Gulf
  • Connectivity
  • Eddy
  • Persian Gulf
  • Shamal
  • Wind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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