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Hawaiian Alpine Lake Level, Rainfall Trends, and Spring Flow

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Title:Hawaiian Alpine Lake Level, Rainfall Trends, and Spring Flow
Authors:Woodcock, Alfred H.
Date Issued:Apr 1980
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Woodcock AH. 1980. Hawaiian alpine lake level, rainfall trends, and spring flow. Pac Sci 34(2): 195-209.
Abstract:During the period May 1965 to November 1978 (162 months)
127 measurements were made of Lake Waiau water levels and overflow. This
small perched body of water is located in Puu Waiau crater, at about 3970-m
altitude, near the summit of the dormant volcano, Mauna Kea, Hawaii.
Differences in water level are compared to the Hawaii statewide rainfall index,
and to Waihu Spring flow. It is suggested that lake level is a useful indicator
of rainfall trends among the islands.
Measurements of the tritium concentrations of Puu Waiau crater perched
lake and groundwaters, and of the nearby spring waters on the south slopes of
Mauna Kea, are used to indicate that seepage from the lake is probably the
principal spring-water source during drought periods. The tritium measurements
suggest that something blocks direct groundwater seepage out of the
Waiau crater, and indications are that the blockage is ice in a subsurface layer
of relict permafrost.
Study of the changes in lake and groundwater levels during the 30-month
dry period July 1976 to December 1978 indicates that the groundwater basin
probably occupies almost the entire Waiau crater catchment area (i.e.,
~ 10 5 m2).
It is suggested that permanent water-level and overflow gauges be established
at Lake Waiau, and that long-term records from these gauges would be climatologically
and hydrologically useful.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 34, Number 2, 1980

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