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Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

USGS Pacific Coral Reefs Website

Photo of coral reef.  

Maui

satellite image of the island of Maui

Landsat satellite image from NASA

Overview

Maui is located 15 km (9 mi) east of Molokaʻi and 15 km northwest of Lānaʻi. Known as the Valley Isle, it encompasses 1883 sq km (727 sq mi), making it the second largest of the main eight Hawaiian Islands. A fringing reef surrounds much of the island. However much of the live coral growth can only be found on the leeward west coast where the reef is protected from waves by the surrounding islands. Reef growth is limited on the windward northeast coast due to wave impacts.

Motivation

Over the past two decades, there has been a notable change in seafloor-bottom type along west-central Maui, Hawaiʻi. Once dominated by abundant coral coverage, the area is now characterized by an increased abundance of turf algae and macroalgae. In an effort to improve the health and resilience of the coral reef system, the State of Hawaiʻi established the Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area. In addition, the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force (USCRTF) Watershed Partnership Initiative selected the Kaʻanapali region of west-central Maui as the site of the second national priority study area on which to focus its research and restoration efforts. The USGS has been involved heavily in these studies, bringing expertise in mapping, circulation and sediment studies, and seismic surveys. Other collaborators include the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NOAA, University of Hawaiʻi, University of Washington, University of California-Santa Cruz, and The Nature Conservancy.

Products

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

Mapping

Gibbs, A.E., Cochran, S.A., and Tierney, P.W., 2013, Seafloor video footage and still frame-grabs from U.S. Geological Survey cruises in Hawaiian nearshore waters: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 735, 11 p.

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

Gibbs, A.E., Grossman, E.E., and Richmond, B.M., 2005, Summary and preliminary interpretations of USGS cruise A-2-02-HW; Underwater video surveys collected off of Oʻahu, Molokai, and Maui, Hawaii, June-July 2002: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2005–1244, 57 p.

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.

Field, M.E., Chavez, P.S., Evans, K.R., and Cochran, S.A., 2001, New mapping techniques help assess the health of Hawaiʻi's coral reefs: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 084–01, 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.

Swarzenski, P.W., Storlazzi, C.D., Presto, M.K., Gibbs, A.E., Smith, C.G., Dimova, N.T., Dailer, M.L., and Logan, J.G., 2012, Nearshore morphology, benthic structure, hydrodynamics, and coastal groundwater discharge near Kahekili Beach Park, Maui, Hawaiʻi: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1166, 34 p.

Stock, J.D., Cochran, S.A., Field, M.E, Jacobi, J.D., 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.

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.

Piniak, G.A., and Brown, E.K., 2008, Growth and mortality of coral transplants (Pocillopora damicornis) along a range of sediment influence in Maui, Hawaiʻi: Pacific Science, v. 62, no. 1, p. 39–55, doi:10.2984/1534-6188(2008)62[39:GAMOCT]2.0.CO;2.

Storlazzi, C.D., and Field, M.E., 2008, Winds. waves. tides, and the resulting flow patterns and fluxes of water, sediment, and coral larvae off West Maui, Hawaiʻi, in Vermeij, M., ed., Coral reefs of Maui; status, stressors and suggestions: San Francisco, Blurb Inc., p. 16–21.

Storlazzi, C.D., and Field, M.E., 2008, Winds, waves, tides, and the resulting flow patterns and fluxes of water, sediment, and coral larvae off West Maui, Hawaii: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008–1215, 13 p.

Storlazzi, C.D., and Jaffe, B.E., 2008, The relative contribution of processes driving variability in flow, shear, and turbidity over a fringing coral reef; West Maui, Hawaii: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, v. 77, i. 4, p. 549–564, doi:10.1016/j.ecss.2007.10.012.

Piniak, G.A., 2007, Effects of two sediment types on the fluorescence yield of two Hawaiian scleractinian corals: Marine Environmental Research, v. 64, no. 4, p. 456–468.

Vitousek, S., Fletcher, C.H., Merrifield, M.A., Pawlak, G., and Storlazzi, C.D., 2007, Model scenarios of shoreline change at Kaanapali Beach, Maui, Hawaiʻi; Seasonal and extreme events: ASCE Coastal Sediments 2007 Meeting, New Orleans, Proceedings, May 13–17, 2007, p. 1,227–1,240.

Storlazzi, C.D., McManus, M.A., Logan, J.B., and McLaughlin, B.E., 2006, Cross-shore velocity shear, eddies and heterogeneity in water column properties over fringing coral reefs: West Maui, Hawaii. Continental Shelf Research, v. 26, i. 3, p. 401–421, doi:10.1016/j.csr.2005.12.006.

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.

Storlazzi, C.D., and Presto, M.K., 2005, Coastal circulation and sediment dynamics along West Maui, Hawaiʻi: Part IV—Measurements of waves, curents, temperature, salinity and turbidity in Honolua Bay, Northwest Maui: 2003–2004. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2005–1068, 34 p.

Storlazzi, Curt D., Field, Michael E., Ogston, Andrea S., Logan, Joshua B., Presto, M. Kathy, and Gonzales, Dave G., 2004, Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics along West Maui, Hawaiʻi: Part III—Flow and particulate dynamics during the 2003 summer coral spawning season. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2004–1287.

Carr, R.S., and Nipper, M., 2003, Final report on toxicity testing of sediments from Molokaʻi and Maui, Hawaiʻi: USGS Marine Ecotoxicology Research Station, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, Center for Coastal Studies. Report number TAMU-CC-0302-CCS, 17 p.

Storlazzi, Curt D., and Jaffe, Bruce E., 2003, Coastal Circulation and Sediment Dynamics along West Maui, Hawaiʻi: Part I—Long-term measurements of currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity off Kahana, West Maui: 2001–2003. U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 03–482.

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]

Swarzenski, P.W., Dulaiova, H., Dailer, M.L., Glenn, C.R., Smith, C.G., and Storlazzi, C.D., 2013, A geochemical and geophysical assessment of coastal groundwater discharge at select sites in Maui and Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi, in Wetzelhuetter, C., ed., Groundwater in the coastal zones of Asia Pacific: Coastal Research Library, Vol. 7: New York, Springer, p. 27–46, doi:10.1007/978-94-007-5648-9.

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.

Storlazzi, C.D., Brown, E.K., and Field, M.E., 2006, The application of acoustic Doppler current profilers to measure the timing and patterns of coral larval dispersal, Coral Reefs, v. 25, no. 3, p. 369–381, doi:10.1007/s00338-006-0121-x.

Hatcher, G.A., Reiss, T.E., and Storlazzi, C.D., 2004, Application of GPS drifters to track Hawaiian coral spawning: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2004–1309, p. 14.

Other selected works

USGS and Hawai‘i Researchers Collaborate to Better Understand Changing Coral Reef Ecosystems Along West Maui, Hawai‘i

Coral Reefs Provide Critical Coastal Protection

Studying the impact of sediment on Maui reef corals

Using current drifters to help track coral larvae from West Maui

West Maui coastal circulation experiment: Understanding the Movement of Sediment, Coral Larvae, and Contaminants Along Coral Reefs

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