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Physicochemical coastal groundwater dynamics between Kauhakō Crater lake and Kalaupapa settlement, Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i

January 16, 2023

Land-based sources of groundwater pollution can be a critical threat to coral reefs, and a better understanding of “ridge-to-reef” water movement is required to advance management and coral survival in the Anthropocene. In this study a more complete understanding of the geological, atmospheric, and oceanic drivers behind coastal groundwater exchange on the Kalaupapa peninsula, on Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i, is obtained by analyzing high resolution geochemical and geophysical time-series data. In concert with multiyear water level analyses, a tidally and precipitation-driven groundwater connection between Kauhakō Crater lake and submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) fluxes are demonstrated. Results include an average discharge rate of 190 cm d−1 and the detection of water-flow pathways past cesspools that likely contribute to higher nutrient loading near the SGD sites. This underlines the importance of managing anthropogenic nutrients that enter the shallow freshwater lens such as through cesspools and are consequently discharged via SGD onto coral reef habitats.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2023
Title Physicochemical coastal groundwater dynamics between Kauhakō Crater lake and Kalaupapa settlement, Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i
DOI 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2022.114509
Authors Ferdinand Oberle, Olivia Cheriton, Peter W Swarzenski, Eric K. Brown, Curt D. Storlazzi
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Marine Pollution Bulletin
Index ID 70239743
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center