Saturday, January 22, 2022
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Wednesday, November 25, 2020
UH Discovers Hawaii has Twice as Much Fresh Water as Believed
By News Release @ 8:23 PM :: 2764 Views :: Development, Hawaii Statistics

Conceptual model of freshwater path from rainfall to offshore

Conceptual model of freshwater path from rainfall to offshore

Offshore submarine freshwater discovery raises hopes for islands worldwide

From UH News, Nov 25, 2020

Twice as much freshwater is stored offshore of Hawaiʻi Island than was previously thought, according to a University of Hawaiʻi study with important implications for volcanic islands around the world. An extensive reservoir of freshwater within the submarine southern flank of the Hualālai aquifer has been mapped by UH researchers with the Hawaiʻi EPSCoR ʻIke Wai project. The groundbreaking findings, published in Science Advances, reveal a novel way in which substantial volumes of freshwater are transported from onshore to offshore submarine aquifers along the coast of Hawaiʻi Island.

This mechanism may provide alternative renewable resources of freshwater to volcanic islands worldwide. “Their evidence for separate freshwater lenses, stacked one above the other, near the Kona coast of Hawaiʻi, profoundly improves the prospects for sustainable development on volcanic islands,” said UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) Dean Brian Taylor.

Eric Attias deploys CSEM system

Eric Attias (center) deploys CSEM system

Paradigm shift

Through the use of marine controlled-source electromagnetic imaging, the study revealed the onshore-to-offshore movement of freshwater through a multilayer formation of basalts embedded between layers of ash and soil, diverging from previous groundwater models of this area. Conducted as a part of the National Science Foundation-supported ʻIke Wai project, research affiliate faculty Eric Attias led the marine geophysics campaign.

“Our findings provide a paradigm shift from the conventional hydrologic conceptual models that have been vastly used by multiple studies and water organizations in Hawaiʻi and other volcanic islands to calculate sustainable yields and aquifer storage for the past 30 years,” said Attias. “We hope that our discovery will enhance future hydrologic models, and consequently, the availability of clean freshwater in volcanic islands.”

Co-author Steven Constable, a professor of geophysics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who developed the controlled source electromagnetic system used in the project, said, “I have spent my entire career developing marine electromagnetic methods such as the one used here. It is really gratifying to see the equipment being used for such an impactful and important application. Electrical methods have long been used to study groundwater on land, and so it makes sense to extend the application offshore.”

Kerry Key, an associate professor at Columbia University who employs electromagnetic methods to image various oceanic Earth structures, who not involved in this study, said, “This new electromagnetic technique is a game changing tool for cost-effective reconnaissance surveys to identify regions containing freshwater aquifers, prior to more expensive drilling efforts to directly sample the pore waters. It can also be used to map the lateral extent of any aquifers already identified in isolated boreholes.”

Two-times more water

Donald Thomas, a geochemist with the Hawaiʻi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology in SOEST who also worked on the study, said the findings confirm two-times the presence of much larger quantities of stored groundwater than previously thought.

“Understanding this new mechanism for groundwater…is important to better manage groundwater resources in Hawaiʻi,” said Thomas, who leads the Humuʻula Groundwater Research project, which found another large freshwater supply on Hawaiʻi Island several years ago.

Offshore freshwater systems similar to those flanking the Hualālai aquifer are suggested to be present for the island of Oʻahu, where the electromagnetic imaging technique has not yet been applied, but, if demonstrated, could provide an overall new concept to manage freshwater resources.

The study proposes that this newly discovered transport mechanism may be the governing mechanism in other volcanic islands. With offshore reservoirs considered more resilient to climate change-driven droughts, volcanic islands worldwide can potentially consider these resources in their water management strategies.

This project is supported by the National Science Foundation EPSCoR Program Award OIA #1557349.

COVERAGE:
Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT