Northwest Hawaiian Islands: Ocean Maps and Imagery

The CCMA Remote Sensing Team led development of the first benthic habitat maps made for the Northwest Hawaiian Islands (NWHI). The NWHI chain extends across 2200 km of open ocean, and the total shallow water area of the ten atolls encompasses over 8,000 square km. Due to the remoteness and large spatial extent of these reefs, high-resolution satellite imagery was the primary source of data for this effort. Field data collected during a NOS cruise to NWHI in Aug-Sep 2001 and provided by the NMFS, Honolulu Lab were also essential to map production. The satellite data used was IKONOS multispectral (blue/green/red/near-infrared bands) and panchromatic imagery from Space Imaging, collected between 2000 and 2002.

Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) imagery was also obtained for all ten atolls as well as for most of the bank areas.

Map products for NWHI include georeferenced truecolor images derived from IKONOS satellite data, estimated bathymetry (in meters) derived from the imagery, benthic habitat cover, and detailed benthic habitat classes. The process of map development is described in detail in NWHI_map_development.pdf and a description of the classification scheme and classes can be found in NWHI_class_scheme.pdf. A PDF file with larger versions of the colorbars for the depth scales and the legends for habitat cover and detailed class is also available: NWHI_map_legend.pdf.

NWHI Overview Map
Midway Islands Nihoa Island Necker Island French Frigate Shoals Gardner Pinnacles Maro Reef Laysan Island Lisianski Island Pearl and Hermes Atoll Kure Atoll
Click on the text (atoll name) in the map above (or follow the links below) to view maps and imagery for each of the NWHI atolls. Imagery for the banks will be added in the future.
  1. Nihoa Island
  2. Necker Island
  3. French Frigate Shoals
  4. The First Bank immediately east of French Frigate Shoals
  5. Southeast Brooks Bank (the first bank immediately west of French Frigate Shoals)
  6. St. Rogatien Bank
  7. The First Bank immediately west of St. Rogatien Bank
  8. Gardner Pinnacles
  9. Raita Bank
  10. Maro Reef
  11. Laysan Island
  12. Pioneer Bank
  13. Lisianski Island
  14. Pearl and Hermes Atoll
  15. Midway Islands
  16. Kure Atoll
An online version of the Atlas is available:

Atlas: Section 1
Atlas: Section 2
Atlas: Section 3

For more information about this and related work, please visit: