Ground-water resources of the Laura area, Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4047
By:  and 



The water system that supplies the heavily populated Dalap-Uliga-Darrit (DUD) area of Majuro atoll, Marshall Island, relies almost entirely upon airstrip catchment of rain water. Droughts cause severe water supply problems and water rationing is required, even during periods of normal rainfall. The Laura area contains a substantial lens of fresh groundwater that could be developed for export to the DUD area 30 mi to the east. Study of the groundwater resource at Laura involved a survey of existing wells, installation of monitoring wells and test holes, compilation of continuous records of rainfall and water level fluctuations, and collection of water quality data. Test hole data permitted the definition of three geohydrologic units which correlate well with similar units in Bikini and Enewetak atolls. The units consist of two layers of unconsolidated reef and lagoon sediments resting on a dense, highly permeable limestone. The potable water zone, or freshwater nucleus, of the lens is contained mostly within the unconsolidated layers, which are much less permeable than the basal limestone. Recharge to the Laura freshwater lens is estimated to be 1.8 mil gal/day, based on an average annual rainfall of 140 in. Sustainable yield is estimated to be about 400,000 gal/day. Shallow skimming wells or infiltration galleries similar to those used on Kwajalein atoll would be appropriate to develop the freshwater lens. The impact of development on the lens can be determined by monitoring the salinity in developed water and in a network of monitor wells. (Author 's abstract)
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Ground-water resources of the Laura area, Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 87-4047
DOI 10.3133/wri874047
Edition -
Year Published 1987
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey,
Description vi, 69 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.
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