Unified Interior Regions

Region 12: Pacific Islands (American Samoa, Hawaii, Guam, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)

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Our scientists in the Pacific Islands Region conduct impartial, multi- and interdisciplinary research and monitoring on a large range of natural-resource issues that impact the quality of life of citizens of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. 

News

Date published: July 9, 2020

New Study Finds the Restoration of Forests with Active Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death Infections May Be Possible

Hilo, Hawaiʻi – For the first time, researchers have shown that native ʻōhiʻa seedlings can survive for at least a year in areas that have active mortality from Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, or ROD, a fungal disease that is devastating to this dominant and culturally important tree in Hawaiian forests. This information can be useful to land managers and homeowners as they prioritize conservation actions.

Date published: May 22, 2020

USGS Brown Treesnake Research Continues at Guam National Wildlife Refuge

On May 14, Director Reilly signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of the Navy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The MOA provides for continuity of operations for the USFWS and the USGS with construction of new office and lab facilities on the Guam National Wildlife Refuge in conjunction with DOD’s construction of a Marine Corps firing range.

Date published: May 12, 2020

USGS Responds to Spring Flooding

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring flooding across the country as spring weather is in full swing. Warming temperatures, increased precipitation and snowmelt have caused moderate to major flooding in the upper Midwest, East Coast, Central Plains and the Southeast portions of the country.

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Date published: July 20, 2020
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project

Explore the fascinating undersea world of coral reefs. Learn how we map, monitor, and model coral reefs so we can better understand, protect, and preserve our Nation's reefs.

Date published: May 4, 2020
Status: Active

Low-lying areas of tropical Pacific islands

Sea level is rising faster than projected in the western Pacific, so understanding how wave-driven coastal flooding will affect inhabited, low-lying islands—most notably, the familiar ring-shaped atolls—as well as the low-elevation areas of high islands in the Pacific Ocean, is critical for decision-makers in protecting infrastructure or relocating resources and people.

Date published: February 4, 2020
Status: Active

Regional Science Portal

Welcome to the Regional Science Portal. On this site, you will find the scientific research, data, and information USGS has completed for this Region. For a geospatial view of the projects, please click the map to the right to see a larger interactive view to the areas USGS has studied in detail. Each of the tabs below lists all of the completed product offerings the USGS has completed for the...

Date published: July 15, 2019
Status: Active

Coral Reef Project: Guam

As part of the USGS Coral Reef Project, the USGS is working on the west coast of Guam to help determine the effects of sedimentation in nearshore waters.

Date published: March 5, 2019
Status: Active

The Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Flood and Storm Tracker (FaST)

Storm-related flooding can lead to the potential spread of nonindigenous (or non-native) aquatic species into waterways they have not been seen in before. The USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species program has developed an innovative mapping tool to help natural resource managers with post-storm nonindigenous aquatic species detection and assessment efforts. 

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.

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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 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (the islands of Saipan and Tinian)

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 Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (the islands of Saipan and Tinian). For each island there are 8 associated flood mask and flood depth shapefiles: one for each of four nearshore wave energy

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 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 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 Territory of Guam

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 Guam. There are 8 associated flood mask and flood depth shapefiles: one for each of four nearshore wave energy return periods (rp; 10-, 50-, 100-, and 500-years) and both with %

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 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 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 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...

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A scientists observes a volcano crater
April 6, 2020

A geologists makes observations at Kilauea

Clear weather allowed HVO geologists to make observations and take measurements of the water pond at Kīlauea's summit. No major changes were observed, and the water level continues to slowly rise. Note the former HVO observation tower can be seen above the geologist's helmet. 

Scientist holds rope leading to Unoccupied Aircraft System
January 31, 2020

Unoccupied Aircraft System with water sampler

The sampling mechanism (on blue tarp) is prepared and the Unoccupied Aircraft System (UAS) is inspected just before take off to collect water from the Halema‘uma‘u crater lake. Brightly colored flagging tape tied to a cable attached to the UAS indicated depth as the sampling tool was lowered into the water. 

Brown pond
January 17, 2020

A close-up view of the Kilauea pond

A close-up view of the Kilauea pond shows the color variations across the surface, and sharp boundaries among zones of different color.

Four scientists work on samples at a volcano
January 17, 2020

Scientists process volcano lake water samples

After a sample was collected, HVO team members transferred water from the sampling device to plastic bottles. Team members took notes, measured water pH and evaluated water temperature data for each sample collected.   

Five glass beakers on a lab table
October 30, 2019

Water collected from the lake at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u

Water collected from the lake at the bottom of Halema‘uma‘u is prepared for laboratory analyses at the USGS California Volcano Observatory. Results thus far reveal chemistry indicative of complex reactions among the water, magmatic gases and Kīlauea's basaltic rocks. 

Unoccupied Aircraft System is inspected by pilot just before take off
October 26, 2019

Unoccupied Aircraft System is inspected by pilot just before take off

The sampling mechanism (on blue tarp) is prepared and the Unoccupied Aircraft System (UAS) is inspected just before take off to collect water from the Halema‘uma‘u crater lake. Brightly colored flagging tape tied to a cable attached to the UAS indicated depth as the sampling tool was lowered into the water. 

April 15, 2015

Resilience Potential of Coral Reefs in the Mariana Islands

This webinar was conducted as part of the "Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series" held in partnership between the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the FWS National Conservation Training Center. Webinar Summary: Reducing coral reef vulnerability to climate change requires that managers understand and support the natural resilience

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Ohia forest with dieback resulting from Rapid Ohia Death, Hawaii Island.
July 9, 2020

Hilo, Hawaiʻi – For the first time, researchers have shown that native ʻōhiʻa seedlings can survive for at least a year in areas that have active mortality from Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death, or ROD, a fungal disease that is devastating to this dominant and culturally important tree in Hawaiian forests. This information can be useful to land managers and homeowners as they prioritize conservation actions.

Brown treesnake
May 22, 2020

On May 14, Director Reilly signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of the Navy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The MOA provides for continuity of operations for the USFWS and the USGS with construction of new office and lab facilities on the Guam National Wildlife Refuge in conjunction with DOD’s construction of a Marine Corps firing range.

A USGS field team measures spring floodwaters at Chesapeake bay's largest tributary.
May 12, 2020

U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring flooding across the country as spring weather is in full swing. Warming temperatures, increased precipitation and snowmelt have caused moderate to major flooding in the upper Midwest, East Coast, Central Plains and the Southeast portions of the country.

Unoccupied Aircraft System flying over volcano crater
May 1, 2020

This month marks the second anniversary of the largest rift zone eruption and summit collapse at Kīlauea Volcano in 200 years. In 2018, scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey Hawaii Volcano Observatory monitored more than 60 collapse events at the summit that caused the floor of Halema‘uma‘u crater to drop about 1600 feet, or more than five times the height of the Statue of Liberty.

Close up photo of juvenile brown treesnake on branch.
March 3, 2016

Two recent reports of two brown treesnakes on Saipan is prompting federal and state officials to urge citizens of Hawaii, Guam and other Pacific Islands to report any sightings of these invasive snakes to authorities. Snakes can be reported by calling (671) 777-HISS or (670) 28-SNAKE.

USGS science for a changing world logo
October 1, 2015

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — A new study shows that the combined effect of storm-induced wave-driven flooding and sea level rise on island atolls may be more severe and happen sooner than previous estimates of inundation predicted by passive “bathtub” modeling for low-lying atoll islands, and especially at higher sea levels forecasted for the future due to climate change.

Image: Severe Coastal Erosion During an El Niño Storm
September 21, 2015

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — The projected upsurge of severe El Niño and La Niña events will cause an increase in storm events leading to extreme coastal flooding and erosion in populated regions across the Pacific Ocean, according to a multi-agency study published today in Nature Geoscience.

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