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The tasks for this part of the project included a complete differential GPS survey of the entire south coast of the island, groundtruthing of remotely sensed images, evaluation of potential underwater transect sites via SCUBA diving and snorkeling, and initiation of across-reef transects to map sediment accumulation.
These positions will be used as ground control for an aerial photography survey of the island scheduled for November and December 1999. They will also provide accurate measurements from historical photographs of shoreline change and mangrove progradation.
Paul Jokiel, coral biologist from the University of Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB), and two graduate students, Will Smith and Ceil Roberts, worked with the USGS team for four days to examine potential sites to install permanent transects for monitoring coral condition. The HIMB team is collaborating with the USGS on several biological aspects of the coral reef project, as is Jim Maragos (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), who visited the team for several days.
With the assistance of Jim Lugosi and Curt Storlazzi (UC-Santa Cruz), we continued our efforts to measure sediment thickness along across-reef transects in an attempt to get a handle on the amount of muddy sediment being delivered to the coral reef system by erosion and runoff.
Our next trip is scheduled for January 2000. Plans for that trip include a public outreach lecture at the Moloka'i community center, mapping of sediment and coral cover on the reef flat, coring in selected areas of the outer reef, deployment of oceanographic instruments to measure currents, and installation of permanent underwater transects to monitor changes in the reef.
For information about our previous work on Moloka'i, please see the related story in the May 1999 issue of Sound Waves.
in this issue:
Moloka'i Coral Reefs
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