Unified Interior Regions

American Samoa

The Pacific Region has nine USGS Science Centers in California, Nevada, and Hawaii. The Regional Office, headquartered in Sacramento, provides Center oversight and support, facilitates internal and external collaborations, and works to further USGS strategic science directions.

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The Pacific Region has nine USGS Science Centers in California, Nevada, and Hawaii. The Regional Office, headquartered in Sacramento, provides Center oversight and support, facilitates internal and external collaborations, and works to further USGS strategic science directions.

News

Date published: February 4, 2020

USGS collaborates with National Park Service to study threatened coral reefs in American Samoa

USGS scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center and the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center are cooperating with the National Park Service to better understand links between coastal groundwater and coral reef health on the island of Ofu in the National Park of American Samoa (NPSA).

Date published: December 1, 2009

Surprises from the Deadly September 29, 2009, Samoa Tsunami

The Samoa tsunami of September 29, 2009, was the fifth tsunami studied by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) field teams in 15 years, and yet it presented many surprises.

Filter Total Items: 6
Date published: September 7, 2021
Status: Active

The Value of U.S. Coral Reefs for Risk Reduction

Summary of the report, “Rigorously valuing the role of U.S. coral reefs in coastal hazard risk reduction”

    Contacts: Curt Storlazzi, PhD, Michael Beck
    Date published: September 1, 2021
    Status: Active

    Coastal Climate Impacts

    The impacts of climate change and sea-level rise around the Pacific and Arctic Oceans can vary tremendously. Thus far the vast majority of national and international impact assessments and models of coastal climate change have focused on low-relief coastlines that are not near seismically active zones. Furthermore, the degree to which extreme waves and wind will add further stress to coastal...

    Date published: February 23, 2019
    Status: Completed

    Thermal Imaging Camera Use: Identifying Groundwater Inputs to a Reef in American Samoa

    USGS scientists used a thermal camera in American Samoa to understand the effect of land-based contaminants on an adjacent coral reef lagoon ecosystem. The infrared (IR) camera was used to capture thermal images of the lagoon to look for temperature differences to understand the distribution of freshwater entering the lagoon and the circulation of the lagoon water at various tidal levels.

    Date published: January 1, 2012
    Status: Completed

    21st Century High-Resolution Climate Projections for Guam and American Samoa

    While home to many people and a rich diversity of unique plant and animal life, the U.S. territories of Guam and American Samoa are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change because of their small size, geographical remoteness, and exposure to threats such as sea-level rise and increased storm surge. Developing predictions of future conditions is often the first step in helping...

    Date published: December 1, 2009
    Status: Completed

    USGS Scientists in Samoa and American Samoa Studying Impacts of Tsunami in 2009

    On September 29, 2009, an M 8.1 earthquake in the Samoa Islands region of the South Pacific Ocean caused a tsunami that resulted in 100's of lost lives. A rapid-response team of USGS scientists traveled to the Samoa Islands in October-November 2009 to collect time-sensitive data that would have been quickly...

    Contacts: Bruce Jaffe
    Filter Total Items: 24
    Date published: June 4, 2021

    Geochemistry time series and growth parameters from Tutuila, American Samoa coral record (ver. 2.0, June 2021)

    Geochemical analysis (including age-corrected radiocarbon stable isotopes, and elemental composition) and growth parameters (including calcification rate, density, and extension information) were measured from a coral core collected from a reef off the southern side of Tutuila, American Samoa. The core was collected near Matautuloa Point on 8 April 2012 in collaboration with NOAA.

    Date published: May 20, 2021

    Near-shore seawater-column measurements of excess radon (Rn-222) and water levels, Faga'alu Bay, Tutuila, American Samoa, August 2018

    This data table includes in-situ near-shore seawater measurements of excess radon (Rn-222) and water levels collected in Faga'alu Bay, Tutuila, American Samoa. Radon (Rn-222) data were collected to characterize the advection rate of groundwater onto the near-shore reef. When analyzed in conjunction with measurements of changing water levels from tides and waves, the data can be used to assess...

    Date published: January 1, 2019

    Projected flood extent polygons and flood depth points based on 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year wave-energy return periods, with and without coral reefs, for American Samoa (the islands of Tutuila, Ofu-Olosega, and Tau)

    This part of the data release presents projected flooding extent polygon (flood masks) and flooding depth points (flood points) shapefiles based on wave-driven total water levels for American Samoa (the islands of Tutuila, Ofu-Olosega, and Tau). For each island there are 8 associated flood mask and flood depth shapefiles: one for each of four nearshore wave energy return periods

    Date published: January 1, 2019

    Projected flood extent polygons and flood depth points based on 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year wave-energy return periods, with and without coral reefs, for the State of Hawaii (the islands of Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Niihau, and Oahu

    This part of the data release presents projected flooding extent polygon (flood masks) and flooding depth points (flood points) shapefiles based on wave-driven total water levels for the State of Hawaii (the islands of Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, Niihau, and Oahu). For each island there are 8 associated flood mask and flood depth shapefiles: one for

    Date published: January 1, 2019

    Projected flood extent polygons and flood depth points based on 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year wave-energy return periods, with and without coral reefs, for the Territory of Puerto Rico (the islands of Culebra, Puerto Rico, and Vieques)

    This part of the data release presents projected flooding extent polygon (flood masks) and flooding depth points (flood points) shapefiles based on wave-driven total water levels for the Territory of Puerto Rico (the islands of Culebra, Puerto Rico, and Vieques). For each island there are 8 associated flood mask and flood depth shapefiles: one for each four nearshore wave energy

    Date published: January 1, 2019

    Projected flooding extents and depths based on 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-year wave-energy return periods, with and without coral reefs, for the States of Hawaii and Florida, the Territories of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands,

    This data release provides flooding extent polygons (flood masks) and depth values (flood points) based on wave-driven total water levels for 22 locations within the States of Hawaii and Florida, the Territories of Guam, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. For each of the 22 locations there are eight ass

    Date published: August 22, 2018

    Pedestrian tsunami evacuation results for two tsunami-inundation zones (2009 and probable maximum tsunami (PMT)) and four travel speeds (slow walk, fast walk, slow run, and fast run) for American Samoa

    This data release is comprised of a set of eight time travel map shapefiles (two tsunami inundation zones and four travel times) for use in GIS software applications and two population exposure by travel time tables (residents and nonresidences) for use in GIS software applications and other standalone spreadsheet applications. The travel time map was generated using the Pedestrian Evacu

    Date published: August 22, 2018

    Pedestrian evacuation times for residents on the islands of American Samoa, for 2009 and predicted maximum tsunami (PMT) inundation zones by village, modeled at four travel speeds (slow walk, fast walk, slow run, and fast run)

    This dataset contains American Samoa resident count estimates as a function of travel time out of the 2009 and probable maximum tsunami (PMT) inundation zones for four different travel speeds (slow walk, fast walk, slow run, and fast run). The data are organized in a manner which permits summarizing or visualizing the data by village, tsunami-evacuation zone, and/or travel tim

    Date published: August 22, 2018

    Pedestrian evacuation times for businesses on the islands of American Samoa, for 2009 and predicted maximum tsunami (PMT) inundation zones by village, modeled at four travel speeds (slow walk, fast walk, slow run, and fast run)

    This dataset contains American Samoa nonresidence count estimates as a function of travel time out of the 2009 and probable maximum tsunami (PMT) inundation zones for four different travel speeds (slow walk, fast walk, slow run, and fast run). The data are organized in a manner which permits summarizing or visualizing the data by business classification (church, community center

    Date published: August 20, 2018

    Tsunami evacuation time map for American Samoa predicted maximum tsunami (PMT) inundation zone and fast walk speed

    The travel time map was generated using the Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst model (version 1.0.1 for ArcGIS 10.5) from the USGS (https://geography.wr.usgs.gov/science/vulnerability/tools.html). The travel time analysis uses ESRI's Path Distance tool to find the shortest distance across a cost surface from any point in...

    Date published: August 20, 2018

    Tsunami evacuation time map for American Samoa predicted maximum tsunami (PMT) inundation zone and slow walk speed

    The travel time map was generated using the Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst model (version 1.0.1 for ArcGIS 10.5) from the USGS (https://geography.wr.usgs.gov/science/vulnerability/tools.html). The travel time analysis uses ESRI's Path Distance tool to find the shortest distance across a cost surface from any point in...

    Date published: August 20, 2018

    Tsunami evacuation time map for American Samoa predicted maximum tsunami (PMT) inundation zone and fast run speed

    The travel time map was generated using the Pedestrian Evacuation Analyst model (version 1.0.1 for ArcGIS 10.5) from the USGS (https://geography.wr.usgs.gov/science/vulnerability/tools.html). The travel time analysis uses ESRI's Path Distance tool to find the shortest distance across a cost surface from any point in...

    Filter Total Items: 16
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    Year Published: 2021

    Bomb-produced radiocarbon across the South Pacific Gyre— A new record from American Samoa with utility for fisheries science

    Coral skeletal structures can provide a robust record of nuclear bomb produced 14C with valuable insight into air-sea exchange processes and water movement with applications to fisheries science. To expand these records in the South Pacific, a coral core from Tutuila Island, American Samoa was dated with density band counting covering a 59-yr...

    Andrews, Allen; Prouty, Nancy G.; Cheriton, Olivia

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    Year Published: 2019

    Sea level rise in the Samoan Islands escalated by viscoelastic relaxation after the 2009 Samoa‐Tonga earthquake

    The Samoan islands are an archipelago hosting a quarter million people mostly residing in three major islands, Savai'i and Upolu (Samoa), and Tutuila (American Samoa). The islands have experienced sea level rise by 2–3 mm/year during the last half century. The rate, however, has dramatically increased following the Mw 8.1 Samoa‐...

    Shin-Chan Han; Sauber, Jeanne; Pollitz, Fred; Ray, Richard

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    Year Published: 2017

    Coastal circulation and water-column properties in the National Park of American Samoa, February–July 2015

    There is little information on the oceanography in the National Park of American Samoa (NPSA). The transport pathways for potentially harmful constituents of land-derived runoff, as well as larvae and other planktonic organisms, are driven by nearshore circulation patterns. To evaluate the processes affecting coral reef ecosystem health, it is...

    Storlazzi, Curt D.; Cheriton, Olivia; Rosenberger, Kurt J.; Logan, Joshua B.; Clark, Timothy B.
    Storlazzi, C.D., Cheriton, O.M., Rosenberger, K.J., Logan, J.B., and Clark, T.B., 2017, Coastal circulation and water-column properties in the National Park of American Samoa, February–July 2015: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2017–1060, 104 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20171060.

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    Year Published: 2016

    Effects of Climate and land use on diversity, prevalence, and seasonal transmission of avian hematozoa in American Samoa

    The indigenous forest birds of American Samoa are increasingly threatened by changing patterns of rainfall and temperature that are associated with climate change as well as environmental stressors associated with agricultural and urban development, invasive species, and new introductions of avian diseases and disease vectors. Long term changes in...

    Atkinson, Carter T.; Utuzurrum, Ruth B.; Seamon, Joshua O.; Schmaedick, Mark A.; Lapointe, Dennis; Apelgren, Chloe; Egan, Ariel N.; Watcher-Weatherwax, William
    Atkinson, C.T., R.B. Utzurrum, J. O. Seamon, M.A. Schmaedick, D.A. LaPointe, C. Apelgren, A.N. Egan, and W. Watcher-Weatherwax. 2016. Effects of Climate and land use on diversity, prevalence, and seasonal transmission of avian hematozoa in American Samoa. Hawaii Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report. TR HCSU-072. University of Hawaii at Hilo, 52 pp.

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    Year Published: 2015

    Ants of the national park of American Samoa

    American Samoa makes up the eastern end of the Samoan Archipelago. On the islands of Tutuila, Taʽū and Ofu, the National Park of American Samoa (NPSA) protects about 4,000 ha of coastal, mid-slope and ridge-top forest. While the ant fauna of the Samoan Archipelago is considered relatively well documented, much of NPSA has never been surveyed for...

    Banko, Paul C.; Peck, Robert W.
    Peck, R.W. and P.C. Banko. 2015. Ants of the National Park of American Samoa. Hawaii Cooperative Studies Unit Technical Report. TR HCSU-0061. University of Hawaii at Hilo, 46 pp.

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    Year Published: 2012

    Bacterial communities associated with healthy and Acropora white syndrome-affected corals from American Samoa

    Acropora white syndrome (AWS) is characterized by rapid tissue loss revealing the white underlying skeleton and affects corals worldwide; however, reports of causal agents are conflicting. Samples were collected from healthy and diseased corals and seawater around American Samoa and bacteria associated with AWS characterized using both culture-...

    Wilson, Bryan; Aeby, Greta S.; Work, Thierry M.; Bourne, David G.
    Bacterial communities associated with healthy and Acropora white syndrome-affected corals from American Samoa; 2012; Article; Journal; FEMS Microbiology Ecology; Wilson, Bryan ; Aeby, Greta S.; Work, Thierry M.; Bourne, David G.

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    Year Published: 2011

    Coral diversity and the severity of disease outbreaks: a cross-regional comparison of Acropora white syndrome in a species-rich region (American Samoa) with a species-poor region (Northwestern Hawaiian Islands).

    The dynamics of the coral disease, Acropora white syndrome (AWS), was directly compared on reefs in the species-poor region of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) and the species-rich region of American Samoa (AS) with results suggesting that biodiversity, which can affect the abundance of susceptible hosts, is important in influencing the...

    Aeby, G.S.; Bourne, D.G.; Wilson, B.; Work, Thierry M.
    Coral diversity and the severity of disease outbreaks: a cross-regional comparison of Acropora white syndrome in a species-rich region (American Samoa) with a species-poor region (Northwestern Hawaiian Islands).; 2011; Article; Journal; Journal of Marine Biology; Aeby, G. S.; Bourne, D. G.; Wilson, B. ; Work, Thierry M.

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    Year Published: 2011

    Effects of fringing reefs on tsunami inundation: American Samoa

    A numerical model of tsunami inundation, Delft3D, which has been validated for the 29 September 2009 tsunami in Tutuila, American Samoa, is used to better understand the impact of fringing coral reefs and embayments on tsunami wave heights, inundation distances, and velocities. The inundation model is used to explore the general conditions under...

    Gelfenbaum, G.; Apotsos, A.; Stevens, A.W.; Jaffe, B.
    Effects of fringing reefs on tsunami inundation: American Samoa; 2011; Article; Journal; Earth-Science Reviews; Gelfenbaum, G.; Apotsos, A.; Stevens, A. W.; Jaffe, B.

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    Year Published: 2008

    Coral and crustose coralline algae disease on the reefs of American Samoa

    Surveys for lesions in corals were conducted at seven sites around Tutuila in June 2004 and January 2005. The objectives of the study were to document the distribution and prevalence of disease in the major genera of corals and crustose coralline algae, systematically describe gross and microscopic morphology of lesions in reef corals and...

    Aeby, G.; Work, Thierry M.; Fenner, D.; DiDonato, Eva

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    Year Published: 2007

    Areas Contributing Recharge to Wells in the Tafuna-Leone Plain, Tutuila, American Samoa

    To address the concerns about the potential for contamination of drinking-water wells in the Tafuna-Leone Plain, Tutuila, American Samoa, a numerical ground-water flow model was developed and used to delineate areas contributing recharge to the wells (ACRWs). Surveys and analyses were conducted to obtain or compile certain essential hydrogeologic...

    Izuka, Scot K.; Perreault, Jeff A.; Presley, Todd K.
    Areas Contributing Recharge to Wells in the Tafuna-Leone Plain, Tutuila, American Samoa; 2007; SIR; 2007-5167; Izuka, Scot K.; Perreault, Jeff A.; Presley, Todd K.

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    Year Published: 2005

    Characterizing lesions in corals from American Samoa

    The study of coral disease has suffered from an absence of systematic approaches that are commonly used to determine causes of diseases in animals. There is a critical need to develop a standardized and portable nomenclature for coral lesions in the field and to incorporate more commonly available biomedical tools in coral disease surveys to...

    Work, Thierry M.; Rameyer, Robert A.

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    Underwater photograph of a shallow area with coral reef and sand.
    February 6, 2020

    Porites and Acropora corals in American Samoa

    Porites and Acropora coral species in reef flat pools in the National Park of American Samoa on Ofu, Manuʻa Islands Group, American Samoa.

    A man pushes a pole upright into its stabilization frame, surrounded by other equipment and palm trees.
    February 1, 2020

    Installing a thermal imaging system

    USGS scientists install a thermal imaging system in the National Park of American Samoa off the south shore of Ofu, Manua. The system detects temperature variations, like a colder freshwater plume that emanates from the shore.

    Underwater photo of divers wearing oxygen tanks, placing instruments on coral reef.
    February 1, 2020

    Divers install monitoring instruments on coral reef

    Dive operations with National Park Service and the National Park of American Samoa installing tide, wave, temperature, and salinity sensors on the fore reef in NPSA off the south shore of Ofu, Manuʻa.

    Aerial imagery of islands are marked to show different data about each island's coast.
    January 1, 2020

    American Samoa Coral Reefs and Coastal Hazard Risk Reduction

    Rigorously Valuing the Role of American Samoa’s Coral Reefs in Coastal Hazard Risk Reduction

    Estimated Annual Benefits

    Maps of American Samoa showing the distribution of the value of averted direct building damages, indirect economic activity losses, and population annually protected from flooding by coral reefs. Results at 10 m2 resolution are

    ...
    December 8, 2019

    How Our Reefs Protect Us: Valuing the Benefits of U.S. Reefs (AD)

    The degradation of coastal habitats, particularly coral reefs, raises risks by increasing the exposure of coastal communities to flooding hazards during storms. The protective services of these natural defenses are not assessed in the same rigorous economic terms as artificial defenses, such as seawalls, and therefore often are not considered in decision-making. Here we

    Image: Tsunami Recovery in American Samoa
    October 12, 2009

    Tsunami Study in American Samoa

    Tsunami flow depth at Alofau, American Samoa following the tsunami that hit the island on Sept. 29, 2009.

    Image: Tsunami Recovery in American Samoa
    October 12, 2009

    Tsunami Study in American Samoa

    Tsunami flow depth indicator at Fagasa, American Samoa following the tsunami that hit the island on Sept. 29, 2009. Vegetation is brown where it was submerged by the tsunami and green above.

    Image: Tsunami Recovery in American Samoa
    October 12, 2009

    Tsunami Study in American Samoa

    Car thrown into building in Pago Pago, American Samoa during the tsunami that struck the island on Sept. 29, 2009.

    Image: Tsunami Recovery in American Samoa
    October 12, 2009

    Tsunami Study in American Samoa

    Vasily Titov (left) of the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and USGS oceanographer Bruce Jaffe (right) standing next to a tsunami warning sign. Signs like this warn people living on the coast to go to higher ground after an earthquake.

    Image: Tsunami Recovery in American Samoa
    October 12, 2009

    Tsunami Study in American Samoa

    Boat thrown onto fish pond in Maloata, American Samoa following the tsunami that hit the island on Sept. 29, 2009.

    Image: Tsunami Recovery in American Samoa
    October 6, 2009

    Tsunami Study in American Samoa

    Roof moved into the ocean in Fagasa, American Samoa following the tsunami that hit the island on Sept. 29, 2009.

    Image: Tsunami Recovery in American Samoa
    October 6, 2009

    Tsunami Study in American Samoa

    Only the foundation of a house in Fagasa, American Samoa remains after the tsunami hit on Sept. 29, 2009.

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    Underwater photo of divers wearing oxygen tanks, placing instruments on coral reef.
    February 4, 2020

    USGS scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center and the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center are cooperating with the National Park Service to better understand links between coastal groundwater and coral reef health on the island of Ofu in the National Park of American Samoa (NPSA).

    Plots around islands show the heights of tsunami waves as measured by a team of scientists.
    December 1, 2009

    The Samoa tsunami of September 29, 2009, was the fifth tsunami studied by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) field teams in 15 years, and yet it presented many surprises.

    USGS science for a changing world logo
    November 18, 2009

    Pete Gurr, a resident of American Samoa, was on his way to work when he felt an earthquake that originated 110 miles out at sea. Because of tsunami training he had received, he knew about the possibility of a deadly wave and drove down to the closest coastal village, where he warned the residents. Similarly, Tina Pule knew the earthquake was stronger than usual and told her parents to go inland.