Skip Links

USGS - science for a changing world

U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1166

Nearshore Morphology, Benthic Structure, Hydrodynamics, and Coastal Groundwater Discharge near Kahekili Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii

By Peter W. Swarzenski, Curt D. Storlazzi, M. Katherine Presto, Ann E. Gibbs, Christopher G. Smith, Natasha T. Dimova, Meghan L. Dailer, and Joshua B. Logan

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (7.9 MB)Abstract

This report presents a brief summary of recent fieldwork conducted off Kahekili Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii, the site of the newly established U.S. Coral Reef Task Force priority study area at Kaanapali and the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources, Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area (HFMA). The goals of this fieldwork are to provide new baseline information to help guide future studies and to provide first insights into rates and drivers of coastal groundwater discharge and associated constituent loadings into the priority study area’s coastal waters. This study presents the first swath acoustic mapping information, in situ oceanographic instrument measurements, and coastal groundwater discharge estimates at this site based on the submarine groundwater discharge tracer radon-222 (222Rn). Coastal groundwater discharge rates ranged from about 22 to 50 centimeters per day, depending on proximity of the sampling mooring to the primary discharge vent. The water chemistry of the discharging groundwater was at times dramatically different than ambient seawater. For example, at the primary vent site at Kahekili, the concentrations of total dissolved nitrogen (TDN), dissolved silicate (DSi), and total dissolved phosphorus (TDP) in the discharging groundwater were 43.75 micromolar (µM), 583.49 µM, and 12.04 µM, respectively. These data extend our basic understanding of the morphology, benthic structure, and oceanographic setting of this vent site and provide a first estimate of the magnitude and physical forcings of submarine groundwater discharge and associated trace metals and nutrient loads here.

  • This report is available only on the Web.

For additional information:
Contact Information, Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey
Pacific Science Center
400 Natural Bridges Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

This report is presented in Portable Document Format (PDF); the latest version of Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view it. Download the latest version of Adobe Reader, free of charge.

Suggested citation:

Swarzenski, P.W., Storlazzi, C.D., Presto, M.K., Gibbs, A.E., Smith, C.G., Dimova, N.T., Dailer, M.L., and Logan, J.B., 2012, Nearshore morphology, benthic structure, hydrodynamics, and coastal groundwater discharge near Kahekili Beach Park, Maui, Hawaii: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2012–1166, 34 p. (Available at





Results and Discussion



References Cited

Additional Digital Information

Direct Contact Information

Appendix. Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) Information

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices logo U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
Page Contact Information: GS Pubs Web Contact
Page Last Modified: Saturday, January 12, 2013, 03:26:37 PM