[Coral-List] Coral Bleaching in American Samoa

Mark Eakin Mark.Eakin at noaa.gov
Fri Apr 17 11:46:59 EDT 2009

Thanks for bringing this to folks attention, Jim.

To expand on Jim's request, our Coral Reef Watch products are  
currently listing alerts for the following stations in that area:

  Pacific Ocean:
** Central Pacific
   == Samoa and Fiji
         -- American Samoa-Ofu                   (-) No Stress (just  
dropped from a Bleaching Watch)
         -- Rose Atoll, American Samoa      Bleaching Watch
         -- Kambara, Fiji                                 (-) No  
Stress (just dropped from a Bleaching Watch)
         -- Vanua, Fiji                                      (-) No  
Stress (just dropped from a Bleaching Watch)
         -- Fiji-Bequa                                       Bleaching  
         -- Raratonga, Cook Islands             Bleaching Watch
         -- Niue                                                 (-)  
No Stress (just dropped from a Bleaching Watch)

         -- Efate, Vanuatu                               (-) No Stress  
(was recently at Alert Level 1)
         -- Amedee, New Caledonia            (-) No Stress (was  
recently at Alert Level 2)
         -- Arnavon, Solomon Islands            Bleaching Watch

This area has been undergoing warming as part of a large region of  
high SSTs stretching from Papua, New Guinea to south of Raratonga.   
Based on our seasonal bleaching outlook product, we expect to see this  
stress diminish over the next few weeks.  However, since many of these  
reefs have been under thermal stress since February, some bleaching  
should be evident in the region.

Our seasonal bleaching outlooks can be found at:

Current HotSpot and Degree Heating Week charts and data formatted for

HDF and Google Earth can be found at:

Time series graphics for index sites can be found at:

You can sign up for automated bleaching alerts at:

Please report bleaching events (or non-events) at:


On Apr 17, 2009, at 9:11 AM, Jim Hendee wrote:

> Greetings,
>    We have a report from Doug Fenner in American Samoa of a possibly
> isolated incidence of bleaching "way above background" levels on the
> slope at Aunu'u.  Almost all of /Montastrea curta/ were bleached
> (apparently the usual first species to bleach); other species have
> bleached also, but to a lesser extent.
>    Our ecological forecasts ("ecoforecasts") for bleaching at this
> site, taking into account "virtual station" data from integrated
> satellite data products (satellite wind and SST; [buoy data are
> currently offline]), indicate high sea temperatures over 30 (up to  
> 31.6)
> and low winds during March 14-16.  (Note that these temperatures have
> not been ground-truthed/validated in the field.)  Bleaching was  
> noted to
> occur on the tops, more than the sides, thus indicating a possible  
> role
> of light in the bleaching response.  Data and ecoforecasts for this  
> site
> can be seen here (note tab-links near top of page):
>    http://ecoforecast.coral.noaa.gov/index/0/SAST1/station-home
> ....and of course for other sites (see list by clicking on the "sites"
> link near the top).
>    If you have any qualitative bleaching observations in American  
> Samoa
> (or anywhere, for that matter!), please advise so that we can fine- 
> tune
> our ecoforecasting capabilities in the region.
>    Thanks!
>    Cheers,
>    Jim
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
Coordinator, NOAA Coral Reef Watch
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Center for Satellite Applications and Research
Satellite Oceanography & Climate Division
e-mail: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov

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