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Groundwater and Nearshore Hyposaline Conditions at Fanning Island during a Period of Higher than Normal Rainfall

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Title:Groundwater and Nearshore Hyposaline Conditions at Fanning Island during a Period of Higher than Normal Rainfall
Authors:Guinther, Eric B.
Date Issued:Jul 1974
Publisher:University of Hawai'i Press
Citation:Guinther EB. 1974. Groundwater and nearshore hyposaline conditions at Fanning Island during a period of higher than normal rainfall. Pac Sci 28(3): 319-337.
Abstract:Exceptionally high rainfall levels accompanying instability of the
Intertropical Convergence Zone in 1972 greatly expanded the freshwater realm on
Fanning Island. Changes in the head of the groundwater body (a Ghyben-Herzberg
aquifer), as measured at frequent intervals in 11 wells, revealed variations in sediment
permeabilities but proved an unsuccessful technique for determining amounts
of freshwater discharge into inlets along the lagoon shore. The aquifer was found to
store freshwater and then maintain reduced salinities in the inlets long after an
initial salinity depression during a period of precipitation. The spatial and temporal
distribution of salinities in the inlets closely resembled those of an estuary. However,
the factors contributing to salinity fluctuations in each inlet are sufficiently
complex and show both regular and irregular patterns of temporal variation, so
that the inlets constitute highly unpredictable environments. The biological
implications of this unpredictability are deemed interesting because of the close
proximity to the predictable and reasonably stable environments of the shallow-water
lagoon reefs.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 28, Number 3, 1974

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