A major carbonate reef which drowned 13 ka is now submerged 150 m below sea level on the west coast of the island of Hawaii. A 25-km span of this reef was investigated using the submersible Makali'i. The reef occurs on the flanks of two active volcanoes, Mauna Loa and Hualalai, and the lavas from both volcanoes both underlie and overlie the submerged reef. Most of the basaltic lava flows that crossed the reef did so when the water was much shallower, and when they had to flow a shorter distance from shoreline to reef face. Lava flows on top of the reef have protected it from erosion and solution and now occur at seaward-projecting salients on the reef face. These relations suggest that the reef has retreated shoreward as much as 50 m since it formed. A 7-km-wide "shadow zone" occurs where no Hualalai lava flows cross the reef south of Kailua. These lava flows were probably diverted around a large summit cone complex. A similar "shadow zone" on the flank of Mauna Loa volcano in the Kealakekua Bay region is downslope from the present Mauna Loa caldera, which ponds Mauna Loa lava and prevents it from reaching the coastline. South of the Mauna Loa "shadow zone" the - 150 m reef has been totally covered and obscured by Mauna Loa lava. The boundary between Hualalai and Mauna Loa lava on land occurs over a 6-km-wide zone, whereas flows crossing the - 150 m reef show a sharper boundary offshore from the north side of the subaerial transition zone. This indicates that since the formation of the reef, Hualalai lava has migrated south, mantling Mauna Loa lava. More recently, Mauna Loa lava is again encroaching north on Hualalai lava. ?? 1987 Springer-Verlag.
Additional publication details
Coastal lava flows from Mauna Loa and Hualalai volcanoes, Kona, Hawaii