Hydrology and Geology of the Honolulu Aquifer

by David K. Todd, (F.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA,
Charles F. Meyer, Water Resour. Prof. Mgr.; TEMPO, General Electric Co., Santa Barbara, CA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1971, Vol. 97, Issue 2, Pg. 233-256

Document Type: Journal Paper


In one sub-basin of the highly permeable basalt forming the Honolulu aquifer, the freshwater that floats upon and mixes with underlying sea water has been withdrawn at rates exceeding the sustainable yield, causing shallow drawdown cones with severe upconing of brackish water. Recharge into the area is estimated by three different methods and found to be about 5.3 mgd. By the Theis non-equilibrium method permeability of the basalt is estimated to be 13,700 gpd per sq. ft. Relatively impermeable caprock deposits appear to limit leakage of freshwater to the ocean or to adjacent aquifer areas to negligible amounts, since withdrawal at approximately the estimated recharge rate causes no increase in salinity. This study is part of a project sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Interior and the Honolulu Board of Water Supply to develop a mathematical model and to simulate by use of a digital computer the dynamic behavior of isochlors when freshwater floats on salt water.

Subject Headings: Salt water | Fresh water | Hydrologic models | Water supply | Computer models | Hydrology | Geology | Aquifers | Honolulu | Hawaii | United States

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