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National Natural Landmark VIII

August 6, 2012

Vaiava Strait

VII. Site Vaiava Strait, Tutuila, American Samoa

       Description:  Vaiava Strait, a 350-acre consisting of both land and water, is a locality where erosion has sculptured steep and scenically spectacular cliffs in the rocks of a huge and massive volcanic plug.  The islands and headlands are but remnants of the still larger and longer landmass which projected recent past.  The landmark site includes Matalia Point, Cockscomb Point, Pola Island and Polauta Ridge.  It is located on the north-central coast of Tutuila Island adjacent to the village of Vatia.

      Significance:  Vaiava Strait is a classic illustration of steep cliffs and erosion resistant outliers formed by wave action on a volcanic landmass.   Shoreline sculpturing by the sea has been influenced by the composition and structure of the underlying volcanic rocks.  The volcanic rocks exposed are those outpoured as molten magma during the major episode of volcanism which created Tutuila Island.

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