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National Natural Landmarks of American Samoa part II

July 2, 2012

Cape Taputapu in Amanave, American Samoa

II. Site:  Cape Taputapu, Tutuila Island, American Samoa

    Description:  As a natural exhibit of shoreline and offshore volcanic rocks and blowholes sculptured by heavy sea wave action, Cape Taputapu is not excelled elsewhere in American Samoa.  Huge outliers of erosion-resistant volcanic rocks stand offshore seeming to defy the powerful thrusts of the sea against them.  Among the offshore islets at Taputapu is one identified as a volcanic vent of the kind through which lava outpourings during the episode of major volcanism forming Tutuila Island occurred.  The land and water within this landmark site total 170 acres.

   Significance:  Cape Taputapu offers the best illustration in American Samoa on the wave action on older massive volcanic activity which created Tutuila Island.  The Cape is a dramatic vantage point for observing the titanic struggle in constant progress between the sea and the land.

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