Modeling the ecology of the wēkiu bug's Mauna Kea environment

Eaton, Leigh Anne
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2011]
The goal of this research is to develop a better understating of Wēkiu Bug distribution and population health, which are controlled by summit geology and meteorology. This research aims to develop a better understanding of the areas on the summit of Mauna Kea that are affected by deposition and erosion of snowpack and food deposits, and how the wind's direction and velocities are influenced by the variable terrain. SnowModel, a spatially distributed snow-evolution model, is used to construct snowfall and bug fall accumulation maps of the summit. Eight weather stations connected to telescopes on the summit and four Davis weather stations located in various pu'us give the necessary meteorological variables needed to run SnowModel. Snowdepth observations taken after a passing storm are used to validate the model. SnowModel, shows considerable skill in reproducing snowdepth patterns on the summit. Through modeling efforts, greatest snow accumulations are found on Pu'u Wēkiu and Pu'u Haukea. Similar results are found in bug fall accumulation patterns. Highest accumulations on Pu'u Haukea are on the outer southern and southeastern slopes. Prevailing wind direction is most critical for the distribution of snowfall and bug fall on Pu'u Wēkiu. Easterly winds produce maxima on the outer western slope and inner eastern slope of Pu'u Wēkiu. Westerly winds produce maxima on the inner western slope and the outer eastern slope. Snowfall and bug fall accumulations are fairly well collocated with previous Wēkiu Bug trapping sites.
M.S. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
wekiu bugs
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