[ Bathymetry | Backscatter | Optical Validation | Geomorphology ]
Maro Reef, located at 25.4°N, 170.6°W, is one of the largest reef systems in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands with 1,508 sq. km of reef habitat in depths less than 100 m. Named for the whaling ship from which it was discovered by Western sailors in 1820, Maro is a complex reef structure composed of several distinct coral ridges that rise out of the deep to converge in the shallow center. There is very little emergent land at Maro; this lack of visual reference for navigators combined with the island’s unusual structure makes it hazardous to approach by ship, which has resulted in poor charting of the bank around Maro Reef. Additionally, waters around Maro Reef are usually much more turbid than at other islands in the NWHI, making it one of the most challenging study sites and least understood reef systems in the NWHI.
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