Coastal and Nearshore Erosion
Beach Loss in the Hawaiian Islands
Coastal erosion is a widespread, chronic, and locally severe problem in the Hawaiian Islands and elsewhere in the U.S. Pacific tropical environments. The beaches in Hawaii derive most of their sediment from the surrounding reefs, and factors that affect the growth and health of living reefs, such as deterioration in water quality or severe storms, can have an adverse effect on beach sediment supply. There are two factors responsible for the importance of understanding island beach systems:
Loss of beaches through erosion has a large adverse impact on the economy of the State. The US Geological Survey, in cooperation with scientists at the University of Hawaii, documented the magnitude and extent of beach loss and conducted a research program designed to understand the underlying causes of the erosion unique to the Hawaii environment. The latest techologies in surveying, remote sensing, image analysis, and process experiments were used to analyze the coastal system. Results from this program provide useful information to planners, engineers, and resource managers for the development of appropriate management and engineering guidelines.
U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey | Western Coastal & Marine Geology
maintained by Laura Zink Torresan
last modified 2004