Research

Research Objectives 

Collect new geological, hydrological, and geophysical data

We will collect new geological, hydrological, and geophysical data at previously unavailable spatio-temporal resolution to provide actionable models of Hawai‘i’s aquifers, water flow, and transport processes. Geophysical imaging will provide new high-resolution 3D maps of geologic structures. Real-time down-well monitoring will support analysis of aquifer volume and hydraulic conductivity estimations. Flow and aquifer connectivity measurements will integrate three approaches: submarine groundwater  discharge analysis, geochemistry and the use of microbial diversity as a groundwater tracer.

Create a transformative knowledge resource and modeling platform for water research and decision support

We will create a transformative knowledge resource and modeling platform for water research and decision support. The ʻIke Wai Integrated Knowledge Environment (IKE) will be a data repository, support numerical modeling with High Performance Computing, and advanced data visualization, creating a decision support tool for our water enterprise. IKE will be populated with new data, previously untapped legacy/historical agency data, and indigenous Hawaiian knowledge.

Build an inclusive and diverse pipeline of future water researchers and policymakers

As an integral part of the field data collection, sensor fabrication, and data analysis, our education program will build an inclusive and diverse pipeline of future water researchers and policymakers. Multi-level efforts in diversity and community engagement that span these objectives are framed by our Pacific island culture and Hawai‘i’s pressing water issues. ʻIke Wai assembles a diverse team of hydrogeophysicists, modelers, volcanologists, engineers, visualization experts, social scientists, and educators, including seven new faculty hires in the University of Hawai‘i  System.