Management of the ground-water resources near Kualapuu on the island of Molokai, Hawaii, is hindered by the uncertainty in the vertical salinity structure in the aquifer. In the State of Hawaii, vertical profiles of ground-water salinity are commonly obtained from deep monitor wells, and these profiles are used to estimate the thicknesses of the freshwater part of the ground-water flow system and the freshwater-saltwater transition zone. Information from a deep monitor well would improve the understanding of the ground-water flow system and the ability to effectively manage the ground-water resources near Kualapuu; however, as of mid-1999 no deep monitor wells had been drilled on the island of Molokai.
Selection of an appropriate site for drilling a deep monitor well in the Kualapuu area depends partly on where future ground-water development may occur. Simulations using an areally two-dimensional, steady-state, sharp-interface ground-water flow model previously developed for the island of Molokai, Hawaii, indicate that the southeastern part of the Kualapuu area is a possible area of future ground-water development because (1) withdrawals from this area have a small effect on water levels at existing wells in the Kualapuu area (relative to effects from withdrawals in other parts of the Kualapuu area that are outside of the dike complex), and (2) model-calculated water levels in this part of the Kualapuu area are high relative to water levels in other parts of the Kualapuu area that are outside of the dike complex.
Additional site-selection criteria include (1) ground-water level, (2) ground-surface altitude, (3) land classification, ownership, and accessibility, (4) geology, (5) locations of existing production wells, and (6) historical ground-water quality information. A deep monitor well in the Kualapuu area will likely be most useful for management purposes if it is located (1) in the vicinity of future ground-water development, (2) in an area where water levels are between about 8 and 12 feet above sea level, (3) at a ground-surface altitude that is between about 1,000 and 1,100 feet, (4) on government-owned land, (5) outside of the dike complex and as far from known volcanic vents as possible, (6) at least about 1,000 feet from, but within the same hydrogeologic setting as, existing or proposed production wells, and (7) east of well 0902-01. A viable area for drilling a deep monitor well is about a half mile southeast of existing wells 0801-01 to -03 and a half mile north of a known volcanic vent, Puu Luahine.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Site Selection for a Deep Monitor Well, Kualapuu, Molokai, Hawaii