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Coastal circulation and sediment dynamics in Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Part I, Measurements of waves, currents, temperature, salinity and turbidity; June–August, 2005

April 5, 2006

High-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature, salinity and turbidity were made in Hanalei Bay, northern Kauai, Hawaii, during the summer of 2005 to better understand coastal circulation and sediment dynamics in coral reef habitats. A series of bottom-mounted instrument packages were deployed in water depths of 10 m or less to collect long-term, high-resolution measurements of waves, currents, water levels, temperature, salinity and turbidity. These data were supplemented with a series of vertical instrument casts to characterize the vertical and spatial variability in water column properties within the bay. The purpose of these measurements was to collect hydrographic data to learn how waves, currents and water column properties vary spatially and temporally in an embayment that hosts a nearshore coral reef ecosystem adjacent to a major river drainage. These measurements support the ongoing process studies being conducted as part of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program's Coral Reef Project; the ultimate goal is to better understand the transport mechanisms of sediment, larvae, pollutants and other particles in coral reef settings. This report, the first part in a series, describes data acquisition, processing and analysis.