The groundwater system in southern Oahu, Hawaii consists of a thick, areally extensive freshwater lens overlying a zone of transition to a thick saltwater body. This system is analyzed in cross section with a variable-density groundwater flow and solute transport model on a regional scale. The simulation is difficult, because the coastal aquifer system has a saltwater transition zone that is broadly dispersed near the discharge area, but is very sharply defined inland. Steady-state simulation analysis of the transition zone in the layered basalt aquifer of southern Oahu indicates that a small transverse dispersivity is characteristic of horizontal regional flow. Further, in this system flow is generally parallel to isochlors and steady-state behavior is insensitive to the longitudinal dispersivity. Parameter analysis identifies that only six parameters control the complex hydraulics of the system: horizontal and vertical hydraulic conductivity of the basalt aquifer; hydraulic conductivity of the confining "caprock" layer; leakance below the caprock; specific yield; and aquifer matrix compressibility. The best-fitting models indicate the horizontal hydraulic conductivity is significantly greater than the vertical hydraulic conductivity. These models give values for specific yield and aquifer compressibility which imply a considerable degree of compressive storage in the water table aquifer. ?? 1987.
Additional publication details
Analysis of an anisotropic coastal aquifer system using variable-density flow and solute transport simulation