The overall objectives of the Hawaii
Coastal Erosion Study are to document the recent history of shoreline
change in Hawaii and to determine the primary factor(s) responsible
for coastal erosion in low-latitude environments.
Specific objectives include:
a) document the magnitude and extent of the erosion problem;
b) determine the individual causes for coastal erosion in the
Hawaiian Islands and establish their relative importance;
c) develop a coastal hazard database that can be applied to other
d) provide input for predictive models on long-term coastal behavior.
This project will integrate studies
of erosion history, large-scale coastal behavior, and the reef
record to develop a comprehensive model of coastal-systems evolution
with the goal of further enhancing our predictive capabilities
regarding shoreline stability in important low-latitude environments.
It is anticipated that results from this project can be applied
to low-latitude shorelines around the globe.
In an effort to establish baseline beach conditions, monitor
seasonal beach fluctuations, and understand the dynamics of beach
change in Hawaii, a program of beach and nearshore monitoring
was initiated in 1994 on the islands of Maui and Oahu. Five years
of biannual (approx. summer/winter) profiles on forty-two Oahu,
and thirty-seven Maui, beaches have been collected to date. In
order to address long-term change, we attempted to re-occupy
beach monitoring sites established by University of Hawaii researchers
during the early 1960s (Moberly and Chamberlain, 1964). However,
determining the exact location of old profile sites proved difficult
because of development along the coast and loss of the 1960s
reference marks. All new sites are referenced to a common GPS
network for accurate horizontal and vertical positioning.
The data and results are presented in this web site (a separate
CDROM is also available). For the islands of Oahu and Maui, we
present index maps showing the location of the beach profile
monitoring sites. Each site is linked to a site map, photograph
of the area, collection of beach profiles, and the profile data.
Moberly, R., Jr. and Chamberlain,
T., 1964. Hawaiian Beach Systems. Hawaii Institute of
Geophysics, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, 95p.