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Title: The Rise of Sea Level in Contemporary Times at Honaunau, Kona, Hawaii 
Author: Apple, Russell A.; MacDonald, Gordon A.
Date: 1966-01
Publisher: University of Hawai'i Press
Citation: Apple RA, Macdonald GA. 1966. The rise of sea level in contemporary times at Honaunau, Kona, Hawaii. Pac Sci 20(1): 125-136.
Abstract: Bait cups, net-tanning tubs, and playing boards for the checker-like
game of konani, which were hollowed out by the ancient Hawaiians on the surface
of pahoehoe lava flows a short distance above sea level at the City of Refuge, Honaunau,
Hawaii, are now submerged and unusable for their original purpose. Increased
depth of water over the traditional land route used in approaching the place of
refuge, comparisons of old and new photographs, and increasing storm damage to
structures, also indicate a relative sinking of the shore, at a rate of about 1 ft per
century. The sinking is endangering some of the structures, and imposes a special
problem in the preservation of the area. Other evidence indicates sinking of other
parts of the island of Hawaii, but by less definite amounts. The rate of change
of relative level of land and sea at Honaunau is much greater than that of world wide
change of sea level, and must be the result of actual sinking of the island. The
logical explanation lies in isostatic adjustment resulting from loading of the earth's
crust by the great added mass of the volcanoes. The southern part of the island of
Hawaii appears to be sinking isostatically at a rate of about 8 or 9 inches a century.
ISSN: 0030-8870

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