The hydrogeology of Kilauea volcano and adjacent areas has been studied since the turn of this century. However, most studies to date have focused on the relatively shallow, low-salinity parts of the ground-water system, and the deeper hydrothermal system remains poorly understood. The rift zones of adjacent Mauna Loa volcano bound the regional ground-water flow system that includes Kilauea, and the area bounded by the rift zones of Kilauea and the ocean may comprise a partly isolated subsystem. Rates of ground-water recharge vary greatly over the area and discharge is difficult to measure, because streams are ephemeral and most ground-water discharges diffusely at or below sea level. Hydrothermal systems exist at depth in Kilauea's cast and southwest rift zone, as evidenced by thermal springs at the coast and wells in the lower east-rift zone. Available data suggest that dike-impounded, heated ground water occurs at relatively high elevations in the upper east-and southwest-rift zones of Kilauea, and that permeability at depth in the rift zones (probably < 10-15 m2) is much lower than that of unaltered basalt flows closer to the surface (> 10 10 m2). Substantial variations in permeability and the presence of magmatic heat sources influence the structure of the fresh water-salt water interface, so the Ghyben-Herzberg model will often fail to predict its position. Numerical modeling studies have considered only subsets of the hydrothermal system, because no existing computer code solves the coupled fluid-flow, heat- and solute-transport problem over the temperature and salinity range encountered at Kilauea. ?? 1993.