A typical pinnacle reef protrudes upward from the lagoon floor, often forming a roughly round, flat-topped, shallow reef. But there is so much variation between pinnacles, it is hard to consider any of them "typical." Some have hard flat tops with numerous colonies of table Acropora corals interspersed with rock covered with leathery soft corals. Others are rubble domes with patchy corals and anemones. Some are so thickly covered with a multitude of different corals that you cannot even see what it is all growing on. Pinnacles at Kwaj are locally referred to as "coralheads" although technically that term can apply to any clump of coral.

And there are many hundreds of pinnacles within Kwajalein lagoon. Here are a few near Meck Pass on the atoll's east reef. This particular batch of pinnacles is one of our favorite places to dive. However, since these reefs are subject to currents from two different deep water passes, Meck and Kwadak-Omelek Passes, it is important to go there at slack tide.

Here is another cluster of nice pinnacles near Illeginni Island.

Here is an interesting double pinnacle with a sandy channel running part way between them.

Back to the Marshalls