Hawai‘i Division of Hydrography Bulletins

The Hawaii Division of Hydrography Bulletins contain the first comprehensive and detailed studies of the geology and water resources of the (then) Territory of Hawai‘i. The main author, Harold T. Stearns, was a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey for more than 20 years.

His first publication about Hawai‘i was a USGS Water Supply Paper (with W.O. Clark) on the geology and water resources of the Ka‘u District on the island of Hawai‘i. Local supporters of his geology efforts were not happy with the five year delay in publication of this work by the USGS, so Stearns sought and obtained State money and USGS approval for quicker local printing of his later collaborations. “Thus was born the Hawaii Division of Hydrography Bulletins” as Stearns put it in his autobiography Memoirs of a Geologist: from Poverty Peak to Piggery Gulch (1983).

Bulletin 1 was published in 1935 and Bulletin 12 in 1947, just after Stearns retired. Gordon Macdonald completed the set in 1960 with Bulletin 13 on the geology and water resources of Kaua‘i. The Bulletins have long been out-of-print, but are still important references for anyone working in the field of Hawaiian geology.

Contributors to this collection: Glenn Bauer, state geologist, and Kevin Gooding from the Commission on Water Resource Management of the Department of Land and Natural Resources for the State of Hawai‘i, and Jenna Nolt, USGS.

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