Seven natural phenomena have been identified as posing significant threats to coastal areas of the Hawaiian Islands. These “hazards” include: coastal erosion, sea-level rise, major storms, volcanic and seismic activity, tsunami inundation, coastal stream flooding, and extreme seasonal high wave events. In addition to these phenomena, coastal slope and local geologic setting are important factors for accurately determining the hazard potential for specific areas. To quantify the effects of individual hazards, their past magnitudes and occurrence have been evaluated from historical records and a semiquantitative ranking scheme applied. The intensity of each hazard has been ranked low, moderately low, moderately high, or high using definitions based on their historical occurrence and magnitude. Comparison and statistical ranking and weighting of all hazard rankings for a given segment of coast, combined with geologic character and morphologic slope, are used to define the Overall Hazard Assessment which provides a guideline for management decisions regarding coastal land use and planning.

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