Geology and water-resources reconnaissance of Lenger Island, State of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, 1991

Water-Resources Investigations Report 93-4217

Prepared in cooperation with the State of Pohnpei, Department of Conservation and Resource Surveillance



Lenger is a small (less than 0.2 square miles) volcanic island located within the lagoon of Pohnpei Island. Ground water on Lenger moves as shallow subsurface flow through weathered bedrock slopes into low-lying areas near the coast before discharging into the surrounding lagoon. Estimated ground-water recharge to the island from rainfall is 506,000 gallons per day on the basis of a mean annual rainfall of 140 inches. The basal part of Lenger is composed of a relatively low- permeability post-shield-building lava flow. This flow is overlain by a more permeable conglomerate of stream deposits which is in turn overlain by a relatively low-permeability columnar-jointed lava flow. The limited land mass and relatively low-permeability lava flows that form the bedrock of Lenger are not favorable to the formation of well-defined drainage basins or large basal ground-water bodies.

Numerous springs and seeps discharge shallow subsurface flow at the contact between water-bearing weathered bedrock and underlying less-permeable bedrock. Because the amount of water stored in these shallow subsurface ground-water bodies is limited, springflow and seepflow rates are directly related to rainfall. Barbosa Pond, the largest surface-water body on Lenger, contained 162,000 gallons of water on June 19, 1991. On June 20, 1991, springflow into the pond increased from 0.6 gallons per minute during base-flow conditions to 21 gallons per minute during a 4-hour period of rain that totaled 0.74 inches. The water from Barbosa Pond contains iron and manganese in concentrations that may cause problems in a water-supply system.

Small-scale development of ground water, such as was done at Barbosa Pond by the Japanese, is possible by tapping water stored in colluvial talus deposits that flank the base of Mosher hill. The source of water in these deposits is from seeps and springs that have low base flows; however, additional quantities of water could be obtained from these deposits by widening or deepening the capture area of wells used to develop these deposits. If sufficient storage facilities are built, water from these deposits would be available during drought conditions.

Study Area

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USGS Numbered Series
Geology and water-resources reconnaissance of Lenger Island, State of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, 1991
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
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U.S. Geological Survey
iv, 13 p.
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