Geologic Resource Evaluation of Pu'uhonua Hōnaunau National Historic Park, Hawai'i Part II: Benthic Habitat Mapping

Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5258
Prepared in cooperation with the National Park Service
By: , and 



In cooperation with the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has mapped the underwater environment in and adjacent to three parks along the Kona coast on the island of Hawai‘i. This report is the second of two produced for the NPS on the geologic resource evaluation of of Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park (PUHO) and presents the results of benthic habitat mapping of the offshore waters for PUHO. See Part I (Richmond and others, 2006) for an overview of the regional geology, local volcanics, and a detailed description of coastal landforms in the park.

Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park boundaries extend only to the mean high tide line and do not officially include the marine environment. However, impacts downslope of any development in the park are of concern to management. The area mapped for this report extends from Hōnaunau Bay, around Pu‘uhonua Point, to Ki‘ilae Bay and the south park boundary and from the shoreline to depths of approximately 40 m (130 ft), where the shelf drops off to a sand-covered bottom.

Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park lies within the nearly 850-km2 Ki‘ilae watershed, which begins at the crest of Mauna Loa. The Ki‘ilae Watercourse runs through the southern area of the park and empties into Ki‘ilae Bay, but only during periods of extreme rainfall.

The waters of Keone‘ele Cove, the ancient royal canoe landing at PUHO, while not formally under NPS jurisdiction, are managed by the park under an agreement with the State of Hawaii. This small embayment is a known haven for sea turtles, which are often found sunning themselves on the near- shore volcanic platform. Impacts to this area include frequent visits by scuba divers and snorkelers to Hōnaunau Bay and a small boat ramp located just to the north of Keone‘ele Cove.

Study Area

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Geologic resource evaluation of Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park, Hawai‘i. Part II: Benthic habitat mapping
Series title Scientific Investigations Report
Series number 2006-5258
DOI 10.3133/sir20065258
Edition Version 1.0
Year Published 2007
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Description Report: iv, 20 p.; Metadata; GIS data
Country United States
State Hawai'i
Other Geospatial Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details