Benthic Habitat Data

Bathymetry

Zipped data files contain 1) grid data file (GMT or ASCII), 2) high-res JPG of image, and 3) explanatory metadata text file (identical to linked file listed below).

40m grid data
10m grid data
2m WV-2 derived depths data files
5m WV-2 derived depths, and multibeam from NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai & R/V AHI data files

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Zipped data files contain 1) Arc ASCII file, 2) layer (.lyr) file for symbology, 3) high-res JPG/PDF of image, and 4) explanatory metadata text file (identical to linked file listed below).

40m grid data

American Samoa: Swains Island

[ Bathymetry | Backscatter | Optical Validation | Geomorphology ]

3D image of Swains Island bathymetry.

3D Visualization of Swains Island seamount. (Click on it to open a larger version.)

Swains Island is the northernmost island of the U.S. Territory of American Samoa. Situated approximately 320 km north of the Samoan hot spot track, it is geologically part of the Tokelau volcanic chain. It is about 2.4 km long with a lake of brackish water that is cut off from the ocean.

Although part of the U.S. Territory of American Samoa, the island is privately owned. The first European discoverer of the island was Pedro Fernandez de Quiros, who landed there in 1606, naming it de Quiros’ Island. It was unvisited by Europeans until 1840 when Captain W.C. Swains of New Bedford, Massachusetts visited the island thinking he was the first to land on the island and named it Swain’s Island. However, a British captain, Capt. Turnbull, who also claimed to have discovered the island, sold Swains Island to an American, Eli Hutchinson Jennings Sr. In 1956 he and his Samoan wife moved to the island, claiming it with an American Flag.

Click thumbnail maps below to explore PIBHMC's data sets.

Bathymetry

Go to Swains Island bathymetry page.

Backscatter

Go to Swains Island bathymetry page.

 

 

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Photo of Swains beach.

The beach on Swains Island.

The oldest of his six children, Eli Hutchinson Jennings Jr., inherited the island and managed the estate and its copra plantation (copra is the dried meat of the coconut, used as food and for extracting coconut oil). His son, Alexander Hutchinson Jennings inherited the island, and his daughter inherited the estate. Finally, in 1925, Swains Island was formally made part of American Samoa by the US Secretary of State and Alexander Jennings was given official personal rights to the island. Currently, the island is inhabited by 4 to 30 people at a time in order to retain private ownership by the Jennings family and as part of the Territory of American Samoa. It is still covered by a circle of coconut trees; however, it is not run as an active plantation. The 2006 multibeam surveys reveal the absence of shallow banks outside the reef and steep slopes that descend to oceanic depths less than one km offshore.

Learn more abouot the history of Swains Island via the US Department of Interior, Office of Insular Affairs.

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