National Natural Landmark part IV
IV. Site: Leala Shoreline, Tutuila, American Samoa
Description: The Leala Shoreline is a rugged and spectacular exposure of basaltic rock identified as the Leone Basalt. Interbedded with the basalt flows are layers of tuff. The fringe above the upper limits of erosion by wave action is covered with dense tropical vegetation. The basaltic rocks in the intertidal zone and the gently sloping shelt toward the sea are riven with fractures and pitted with pools creating a remarkable ecological environment. The marine life in the pools is constantly replenished by breaking waves and rising tides. One of the pools is approximately 100 ft. long and more than 12 feet deep. The waves breaking against the steep basalt rock facing the sea presents an awesome spectacle. This land and water area of 35 acres is located on the southwest coast of Tutuila Island just south of the village of Taputimu.
Significance: The eminent geologist of Harvard University, the late Professor R.A. Daly, refers to the Leone Basalt as “this special young flow” and explains that this basalt is vastly more recent than the major episode of volcanism which created the Samoan archipelago. The outstanding quality of the Leala shoreline geologically is equaled only by its significance as a natural ecological exhibit.
We apologize for an error in our photos. Last week we posted the same photo as Fogamma Crater but it was actually for Leala Shoreline. Thank you for your patience and understanding.