Kauai, the fourth largest Hawaiian island (1,437 km2), measures 54 by 40 km at its extreme dimensions. Geologically, it is the oldest island, having emerged from the ocean during the Tertiary Period. The island formed around its primary volcano, Mt. Waialeale, which reached 1,587 m at it highest peak, Kawaikini. Extensive erosion of the primary caldera over geologic time resulted in the deep river valleys and rugged mountains characteristic of the island today.

Fifty-six perennial streams were reported on Kauai by Timbol and Maciolek (1978). At the time of the survey, 75 % were continuous, the highest percentage in the State. Twelve of the streams (21 %) had altered channels. Modified sections of the altered streams averaged 1 % (range 0.1 - 13). A total of 8 km of modified channel was estimated for the 12 altered streams. Three channel types occurred and the estimated percentage of the 8 km total by channel modification type was:

Cleared and/or realigned - 51 %

Revetment - 35 %

Elevated culvert - 14 %

There were no lined channels identified among the altered Kauai streams. Of all Kauai streams, 45 % were reported to have water diverted from their channels and 68 % had road crossings. Kauai was ranked as second only to Molokai in the proportion of physically pristine streams (32 %).

Stream Survey

The map below shows the location of sites sampled by Timbol and Maciolek (1978) on the island of Kauai.

To get survey results for a specific location click Sample Site.

To get survey results for a specific location click Sample Site.

Islands Survey