Hydrogeology of the Hawaiian islands

By:  and 
Edited by: Maria del Carmen CabreraLuis Javier Lambán, and Margarida Valverde


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Volcanic-rock aquifers are the most extensive and productive aquifers in the Hawaiian Islands. These aquifers contain different types of groundwater systems depending on the geologic setting in which they occur. The most common groundwater systems include coastal freshwater-lens systems in the dike-free flanks of the volcanoes and dike-impounded systems within the dike-intruded areas of the volcanoes. In some areas, a thick (hundreds of meters) freshwater lens may develop because of the presence of a coastal confining unit, or caprock, that impedes the discharge of groundwater from the volcanic-rock aquifer, or because the permeability of the volcanic rocks forming the aquifer is low. In other areas with low groundwater-recharge rates and that lack a caprock, the freshwater lens may be thin or brackish water may exist immediately below the water table. Dike-impounded groundwater systems commonly have high water levels (hundreds of meters above sea level) and contribute to the base flow of streams where the water table intersects the stream. Recent numerical modeling studies have enhanced the conceptual understanding of groundwater systems in the Hawaiian Islands.

Study Area

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Hydrogeology of the Hawaiian islands
Year Published 2011
Language Spanish
Publisher Asocación Internacional de Hidrogeólogos, Grupo Español
Publisher location Zaragoza, Spain
Contributing office(s) Pacific Islands Water Science Center
Description 16 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Cuatro décadas de investigación y formación en aguas subterráneas: Libro homenaje al profesor Emilio Custodio
First page 119
Last page 134
Country United States
State Hawaii
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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