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U.S. Geological Survey
Geologic Investigations Series I-2761

Atlas of Natural Hazards in the Hawaiian Coastal Zone

By Charles H. Fletcher III, Eric E. Grossman, Bruce M. Richmond, and Ann E. Gibbs

The purpose of this report is to communicate to citizens and regulatory authorities the history and relative intensity of coastal hazards in Hawaii. This information is the key to the wise use and management of coastal resources. The information contained in this document,we hope,will improve the ability of Hawaiian citizens and visitors to safely enjoy the coast and provide a strong data set for planners and managers to guide the future of coastal resources.

This work is largely based on previous investigations by scientific and engineering researchers and county, state, and federal offices and agencies. The unique aspect of this report is that, to the extent possible, it assimilates prior efforts in documenting Hawaiian coastal hazards and combines existing knowledge into a single comprehensive coastal hazard data set. This is by no means the final word on coastal hazards in Hawaii. Every hazardous phenomenon described here, and others such as slope failure and rocky shoreline collapse, need to be more carefully quantified, forecast, and mitigated. Our ultimate goal, of course, is to make the Hawaiian coast a safer place by educating the people of the state, and their leaders, about the hazardous nature of the environment. In so doing, we will also be taking steps toward improved preservation of coastal environments, because the best way to avoid coastal hazards is to avoid inappropriate development in the coastal zone.

We have chosen maps as the medium for both recording and communicating the hazard history and its intensity along the Hawaiian coast.Two types of maps are used: 1) smallscale maps showing a general history of hazards on each island and summarizing coastal hazards in a readily understandable format for general use, and 2) a large-scale series of technical maps (1:50,000) depicting coastal sections approximately 5 to 7 miles in length with color bands along the coast ranking the relative intensity of each hazard at the adjacent shoreline.

This atlas is made available here in its seven sections (as 7 separate PDF files) or as one larger PDF file

Download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader version 5.0 to view Portable Document Format (PDF) files

Download the seven sections of this atlas as separate PDF files of various sizes

ArcView/GIS compatible shape files of the data are also available for each island:

| Kauai | Molokai | Lanai | Maui | Hawaii | Oahu |

Download this entire atlas as a single PDF file (54.1 MB)

| Help | PDF help | Geopubs main page | I-map |

| Geologic Division | Western Coastal and Marine Geology |

For questions about the content of this report, contact Bruce Richmond

A printed version of this publication is also available from:

USGS Information Services, Box 25286,
Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225
telephone: 303-202-4210; e-mail:

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Last modified: 3-19-04 (cad)