Flow inside a coral colony measured using magnetic resonance velocimetry

Chang, Sandy, Chris Elkins, Marcus Alley, John Eaton, Stephen Monismith

Limnol. Oceanogr., 54(5), 2009, 1819-1827 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2009.54.5.1819

ABSTRACT: The velocity field within scale models of branching coral Stylophora pistillata colonies was measured using magnetic resonance velocimetry (MRV). The models were based on digital representations of real coral skeletons derived using X-ray computed tomography (CT) and constructed using rapid-prototype manufacturing. Two morphologies of S. pistillata from the Red Sea grown in different flow regimes were used. To simplify visualization of the data, velocities were parsed into a series of spherical shells, giving the velocity distributions as functions of distance from coral center for both morphologies. The low-flow morphology distributed flow velocity relatively evenly throughout the interior. In contrast, the high-flow morphology showed a wider range of velocities with regions of flow channeling and flow stagnation.

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