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Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

USGS Pacific Coral Reefs Website

Photo of coral reef.  

Kahoʻolawe

satellite image of the island of Lanai

Landsat satellite image from NASA

Overview

The smallest of the main eight Hawaiian Islands is Kahoʻolawe. Located between the islands of Lānaʻi and Maui, it encompasses only 117 sq km (45 sq mi). Known as the Forbidden Isle, this culturally significant island was at different times used as a penal colony, a ranch, and a forest reserve. In 1941, Kahoʻolawe Ranch leased the island to the U.S. Navy and for many years it was used as target practice training grounds. In 2003 the island was transferred back to the State of Hawaiʻi and efforts are currently underway for restoration of native vegetation and protection of cultural artifacts.

NOTE: Due to unexploded ordinance in the surrounding waters, unauthorized entry to the island and to waters within two miles of the island is prohibited (H.A.R. §13-260).

Motivation

Coral growth on Kahoʻolawe is limited to scattered coral communities at deeper depths. Due to the deforestation of the island, there is a significant problem with erosion and sediment run-off into the nearshore environment. The USGS is assisting the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission in these efforts.

Products

Divided by theme (Note: some products are listed multiple times as they cross multiple themes)

Mapping

Brown, E.K., Cox, E., Jokiel, P.L., Rogers, S.K., Smith, W.R., Tissot, B., Coles, S.L., and Hultquist, J., 2004, Development of benthic sampling methods for the Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (CRAMP) in Hawaiʻi: Pacific Science, v. 58, no. 2, p. 145–158, doi:10.1353/psc.2004.0013.

Jokiel, P.L., Brown, E.K., Friedlander, A., Rodgers, S.K., and Smith, W.R., 2004, Hawaiʻi Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program; Spatial patterns and temporal dynamics in reef coral communities: Pacific Science, v. 58, no. 2, p. 159–174, doi:10.1353/psc.2004.0018.

U.S. Geological Survey, 2009, Science-based strategies for sustaining coral ecosystems: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3089, 4 p.

Circulation and sediment dynamics

Ferrario, F., Beck, M.W., Storlazzi, C.D., Micheli, F., Shepard, C.C., and Airoldi, L., 2014, The effectiveness of coral reefs for coastal hazard risk reduction and adaptation: Nature Communications, 5:3794, doi:10.1038/ncomms4794. [download PDF]

Field, M.E., Chezar, H., and Storlazzi, C.D., 2012, SedPods—A low-cost coral proxy for measuring net sedimentation: Coral Reefs, v.32, p. 155–159, doi:10.1007/s00338-012-0953-5.

Stock, J.D., Cochran, S.A., Field, M.E., Jacobi, J., and Tribble, G., 2011, From ridge to reef; Linking erosion and changing watersheds to impacts on coral reef ecosystems in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Ocean: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2011–3049, 4 p.

Storlazzi, C.D., Field, M.E, and Bothner, M.H., 2011, The use (and misuse) of sediment traps in coral reef environments; Theory, observations, and suggested protocols: Coral Reefs, v. 30, no. 1, p. 23–38, doi:10.1007/s00338-010-0705-3.

Presto, M.K., Storlazzi, C.D., Field, M.E., and Abbott, L.L., 2010, Turbidity on the shallow reef off Kaulana and Hakioawa watersheds on the north coast of Kahoʻolawe, Hawaiʻi; Measurements of turbidity and ancillary data on winds, waves, precipitation, and stream discharge, November 2005 to June 2008: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010–1037, 15 p.

U.S. Geological Survey, 2009, Science-based strategies for sustaining coral ecosystems: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009-3089, 4 p.

Fletcher, C.H., Bochicchio, C., Conger, C.L., Engels, M.S., Feirstein, E.J., Frazer, L.N., Glenn, C.R., Grigg, R.W., Grossman, E.E., Harney, J.N., Isoun, E., Murray-Wallace, C.V., Rooney, J.J., Rubin, K.H., Sherman, C.E., and Vitousek, S., 2008, Geology of Hawaiʻi reefs, in Riegl, B., and Dodge, R., eds., Coral Reefs of the U.S.A., Springer-Verlag, p. 435–488.

Field, M.E., 2005, Living with change; Response of the seafloor to natural events, in Barnes, P.W., and Thomas, J.P., eds., Benthic habitats and the effects of fishing; American Fisheries Society Symposium 41, Proceedings of Symposium on effects of fishing activities on benthic habitats; Linking geology, biology, socioeconomics, and management, Tampa, FL, 12–14 November 2002: Bethesda, MD, American Fisheries Society, p. 215–218.

Climate change

Ferrario, F., Beck, M.W., Storlazzi, C.D., Micheli, F., Shepard, C.C., and Airoldi, L., 2014, The effectiveness of coral reefs for coastal hazard risk reduction and adaptation: Nature Communications, 5:3794, doi:10.1038/ncomms4794. [download PDF]

U.S. Geological Survey, 2009, Science-based strategies for sustaining coral ecosystems: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3089, 4 p.

Jokiel, P.L., 2004, Temperature stress and coral bleaching, in Rosenberg, E., and Loya, Y., eds., Coral Health and Disease, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, p. 401–425.

Jokiel, P.L., and Brown, E.K., 2004, Global warming, regional trends and inshore environmental conditions influence coral bleaching in Hawaii: Global Change Biology, v. 10, no. 10, p. 1,627–1,641, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2004.00836.x.

Future reefs

Ferrario, F., Beck, M.W., Storlazzi, C.D., Micheli, F., Shepard, C.C., and Airoldi, L., 2014, The effectiveness of coral reefs for coastal hazard risk reduction and adaptation: Nature Communications, 5:3794, doi:10.1038/ncomms4794. [download PDF]

U.S. Geological Survey, 2009, Science-based strategies for sustaining coral ecosystems: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2009–3089, 4 p.

Other selected works

Coral Reefs Provide Critical Coastal Protection

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