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Title: Implications for groundwater recharge from stable isotopic composition of precipitation in Hawai'i during the 2017–2018 La Niña

The project captured a subset of the hydrological cycle for the tropical island of O'ahu, linking precipitation to groundwater recharge and aquifer storage. We determined seasonal storm events contributed more to aquifer recharge than year‐round baseline orographic trade wind rainfall. Hydrogen and oxygen isotope values from an island‐wide rain collector network with 20 locations deployed for 16 months and sampled at 3‐month intervals were used to create the first local meteoric water line for O'ahu. Isotopic measurements were influenced by the amount effect, seasonality, storm type, and La Niña, though little elevation control was noted. Certain groundwater compositions from legacy data showed a strong similarity with collected precipitation from our stations. The majority of these significant relationships were between wet season precipitation and groundwater. A high number of moderate and heavy rainfall days during the dry season, large percentage of event‐based rainfall, and wind directions outside of the typical NE trade wind direction were characteristics of the 2017–2018 wet season. This indicates that the majority of wet season precipitation is from event‐based storms rather than typical trade wind weather. The deuterium‐excess values provided the strongest evidence of a relationship between groundwater and different precipitation sources, indicating that this may be a useful metric for determining the extent of recharge from different rain events and systems.

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Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Hydrological Processes
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 4675-4696
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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