Lakes and lake-like waters of the Hawaiian Archipelago

Occasional Papers Bernice P. Bishop Museum


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This summary of Hawaiian lacustrine limnology is based on 12 years of field and literature surveys of archipelagic inland waters. Lakes here are distinguished from other standing waters by limits on surface oceanic area (> 0.1 ha) and depth (> 2 m), and by the absence of flatural surface oceanic connection. A variety of extinct and existing water bodies, sometimes referred to as lakes, are noted. Six lakes are described. Five of them are in crater basins, 3 are freshwater, and 2 are elevated (highest = 3969 m). The scarcity of elevated lakes results from general permeability of the substrata. Among the 6 lakes, surface areas range from 0.22 to 88 ha and maximum depths from 3 to 248 m. Naturally occurring aquatic biota generally is low in species diversity except for phytoplankton; fishes and submersed vascular plants are absent. Two lowland lakes, freshwater Green (Wai a Pele) and saline Kauhak6, are described for the first time. Profundal Kauhak6, 248 m deep, has a surface area of only 0.35 ha, which results in an extraordinary relative depth of 370%. It is permanently stratified, a condition apparently due primarily to the unique morphometry of its basin. 

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Lakes and lake-like waters of the Hawaiian Archipelago
Series title Occasional Papers Bernice P. Bishop Museum
Volume 25
Issue 1
Year Published 1982
Language English
Publisher Bernice P. Bishop Museum
Contributing office(s) Western Fisheries Research Center
Description 14 p.
First page 1
Last page 14
Country United States
State Hawaii
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