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U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1040

Coastal Circulation and Potential Coral-larval Dispersal in Maunalua Bay, Oʻahu, Hawaii—Measurements of Waves, Currents, Temperature, and Salinity, June–September 2010

By M. Katherine Presto, Curt D. Storlazzi, Joshua B. Logan, Thomas E. Reiss, and Kurt J. Rosenberger

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (11.1 MB)Abstract

This report presents a summary of fieldwork conducted in Maunalua Bay, Oʻahu, Hawaii to address coral-larval dispersal and recruitment from June through September, 2010. The objectives of this study were to understand the temporal and spatial variations in currents, waves, tides, temperature, and salinity in Maunalua Bay during the summer coral-spawning season of Montipora capitata. Short-term vessel surveys and satellite-tracked drifters were deployed to measure currents during the June 2010 spawning event and to supplement the longer-term measurements of currents and water-column properties by fixed, bottom-mounted instruments deployed in Maunalua Bay. These data show that currents at the surface and just below the surface where coral larvae are found are often oriented in opposite directions due primarily to tidal and trade-winds forcing as the primary mechanisms of circulation in the bay. These data extend our understanding of coral-larvae dispersal patterns due to tidal and wind-driven currents and may be applicable to larvae of other Hawaiian corals.

  • This report is available only on the Web.

For additional information:
Contact Information, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Pacific Science Center
400 Natural Bridges Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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Suggested citation:

Presto, M.K., Storlazzi, C.D., Logan, J.B., Reiss, T.E., and Rosenberger, K.J., 2012, Coastal circulation and potential coral-larval dispersal in Maunalua Bay, Oʻahu, Hawaii—Measurements of waves, currents, temperature, and salinity, June–September 2010: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1040, 67 p., available at





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