Submarine geology and topography in the Northern Marshalls

Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union
By: , and 



The atomic bomb tests at Bikini in 1946 provided an opportunity to study the characteristics of atolls using modern surveying techniques. The work has shown that many of the important features, both above and below sea level, are definitely related to the direction of the prevailing winds, waves, and currents. Beyond the windward (north and east) reefs of Bikini, the steep outer slope is broken in most places by a terrace at ten fathoms. The margin of the windward reef is a Lithothamnion ridge, cut by strong grooves or surge channels; large islands are developed on these reefs. Lee reefs have nearly vertical outer slopes near the surface; their margins are smooth and are adapted to light surf; occasional storms have eroded large slump areas; and islands are small and few. Passes are largely confined to the southern reefs. The lagoons studied are 25 to 35 fathoms deep and are bordered by a ten‐fathom terrace. The floors are covered with living Halimeda and algal debris surrounded by a belt of foraminiferal and coral sand. Steep coral knolls, some rising nearly to sea level, are scattered in the lagoons. Many flat‐topped seamounts are present in the area. The 14 that were well surveyed rise from 2500 fathoms to depths between 470 and 850 fathoms. ©1949. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Submarine geology and topography in the Northern Marshalls
Series title Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union
DOI 10.1029/TR030i001p00055
Volume 30
Issue 1
Year Published 1949
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Description 4 p.
First page 55
Last page 58
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