Scientists from the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED) mapping team completed a multibeam sonar survey of Kāne`ohe Bay in October 2010. Surprisingly, although Kāne`ohe Bay is an important and heavily populated management area and the home of the Hawai`i Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawai`i (UH), it had not been completely mapped using modern shallow-water survey methods. Some light ranging and detection (LIDAR) data were available in the shallowest areas of the north bay from Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) surveys performed in 2001, but turbid conditions in this bay compromised data collected in deeper and southern areas. Kaneohe Bay was one of the last major gaps in the Main Hawaiian Islands seafloor data synthesis and numerous management issues require accurate and complete maps. Thus, this area was one of the most prominent gaps in seafloor survey data in a comprehensive data synthesis being compiled jointly by NOAA and UH.
Multibeam sonar data were collected over a period of three weeks using the R/V AHI, a 25-ft survey launch. The data are now being processed at the Pacific Islands Benthic Habitat Mapping Center and will be combined with topographic data and the LIDAR from ACOE. Completion of processing and integration is scheduled for late 2011, when all data will be made publicly available. In addition, at the request of the Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources, CRED also did a re-survey of areas south of the Reef Runway of the Honolulu International Airport in December 2010. A map of this area is shown above; download a high-resolution version here.