2 billion riyals saved by protecting coastal areas from industrial waste

Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology revealed the role of coral reefs in modifying the wave climate of the Red Sea beaches that are protected from these reefs, as protecting coastal areas from waste and industrial packing materials could save about 2 billion riyals.

Natural barrier

The leader of the research group, Ibrahim Hoteit, confirmed that the study is highly accurate by adjusting the minimum safe height in King Abdullah Economic City to the bottom, from 4.0 meters to 2.3 meters, despite the relatively slight decrease, but this leads to saving about 90 million cubic meters Of packing materials, equivalent to about 2 billion Saudi riyals.

He explained that the low safe height depends on the presence of coral reefs located off the coast of the Red Sea, which act as a natural wave barrier to provide protection to coastal areas from risks, such as wave runoff, floods and erosion floods.

The waves rise

“Coral reefs reduce wave heights in half on the coast,” says co-author Omar Kenyu. “Coastal coral reefs could remain at greater risk of waves if coastal protection provided by coral reefs are reduced due to coral degradation or sea level rise.”

The findings of KAUST researchers provide valuable design criteria for urban planning in the coastal region of the King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) and highlight the economic and disaster mitigation imperatives to conserve coral reefs in the Red Sea.


“The original task was to model the maximum wave heights to set the minimum safe floor height for structures and design roads in the city,” said a member of the Red Sea Group for Modeling and Forecasting at KAUST.

“However, with the wealth of wave- and water-level observations and accurate depth measurement (water depth) near the coast, along with modeling and supercomputing capabilities available to us at KAUST, we have expanded the study to investigate the role of coral reefs in modulating the wave climate of this region. Protected coral reefs ».

Show that to accurately predict peak wave heights, it is necessary to model how waves are transformed as they pass through coral reefs and shallow sea floor using long-range wave data. Several inputs go into the simulation, including a model for physical wave shifting, bathymetry, atmospheric forcing, and sea rotation. However, the architecture of the simulation and the computational platform are equally important as it determines the accuracy of the results.


About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *