Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Karst Cave Hiking Adventure: Moili'ili Karst Exploration

Karst Cave Hiking Adventure: Moili'ili Karst Exploration

 
Rather than go into a long dissertation about how this limestone cave system was created here under the shadow of the Ko'olau Volcano, the short version is that a very long time ago the sea level on O'ahu was much higher and the area near the University of Hawaii was once covered by a coral reef. 
 
 As the sea levels dropped the reef was exposed to the air and died.  Springs and runoff from the mountains above ate into the limestone layer left by the reef creating a network of caves.  Most have either collapsed or been filled in over the years. 
 
These systems are also found other places on the leeward coast. This fantastic link that explains everything about this system in far more detail than I could. 
 
 
Before we go further, despite what the link says the water in the cave system is anything but clean just from visual observation. 
 
Further, access to the system is tenuous at best and there is a danger of both flash flooding and the possibility of a cave in. 
 
Neither scenario is a good one because there is only one way in and one way out of the cave.  No directions and no names and, for the record, I was never there either.

I didn't see much in the way of plant or animal life, just a few roots hanging from the ceiling from trees above and some type of small fish.  In fact I'd call it more of a guppy than a fish.  Others reported seeing some type of shrimp. 
 
Someone spotted a centipede- something no one was excited to hear about but it made for great conversation about how many more there might be down here, what mutant sizes they would reach, and how their appetite for human flesh would have developed.

While it wasn't much of a hike or trail, I'm glad to have had the opportunity to visit this unique and interesting place.  Perhaps someday I'll return but I can assure you, it won't be alone and it won't be anytime soon!
 
 
 
Oahu Karst Cave Photo and Video Links:

The Moiliili Karst Formation http://explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/hikes/Moiliili/cavemap.html

http://explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/hikes/Moiliili/caveorganisms.html

Moili'ili Karst Cave Exploration http://www.alohafrom808.com/2012/06/moiliili-karst-cave-exploration-june-2012/ 

Moili'ili Karst Exploration http://notsogreathikingblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/moiliili-karst-exploration.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RrGTMYk5cXI

Moiliili Karst http://easyhikerhawaii.blogspot.com/2012/07/moiliili-karst.html

Mōʻiliʻili Karst (Mōʻiliʻili Water Cave)http://totakeresponsibility.blogspot.com/2012/12/moiliili-karst-moiliili-water-cave.html 

Moiliili Karst http://punynari.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/moiliili-karst/
 

Video and Links: Mo'ili'ili Underground Caverns Video

Video and Links: Mo'ili'ili Underground Caverns Video


 
 



Oahu Karst Cave Photo and Video Links:

The Moiliili Karst Formation http://explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/hikes/Moiliili/cavemap.html

http://explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/hikes/Moiliili/caveorganisms.html

Moili'ili Karst Cave Exploration http://www.alohafrom808.com/2012/06/moiliili-karst-cave-exploration-june-2012/ 

Moili'ili Karst Exploration http://notsogreathikingblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/moiliili-karst-exploration.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RrGTMYk5cXI

Moiliili Karst http://easyhikerhawaii.blogspot.com/2012/07/moiliili-karst.html

Mōʻiliʻili Karst (Mōʻiliʻili Water Cave)http://totakeresponsibility.blogspot.com/2012/12/moiliili-karst-moiliili-water-cave.html 

Moiliili Karst http://punynari.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/moiliili-karst/

Hiking Hawaii: Moiliili (Honolulu, Hawaii) Karst Cave

Hiking Hawaii: Moiliili (Honolulu, Hawaii) Karst Cave

by Easy Hiker 
 
http://easyhikerhawaii.blogspot.com/2012/07/moiliili-karst.html
 
Around 4am that morning we were met at our house by two of our good friends who would be joining us.  We grabbed our bags and headlamps and half asleep, set off on our drive to Manoa. 
 
We were forced to low and at points crawl, but in just a few short minutes we had reached the cave system. 
 
The water was very clear and the cave, in and of itself, was a very pleasing sight.  As we began to make our way further into the cave, the water was about chest high. 
 
The water that was incredibly clear was now becoming murky due to those in front of me stirring up the silt as they trudged along.  At points I felt like we were walking in quick sand, but only a few parts were really bad. 
 
 
Every time one of us grabbed the ceiling of the cave, a ton of rocks would fall. 
 
At one point, shortly after we had entered the cave system, I propped myself  up onto a rock.  As everyone was talking, the rock I was standing on, suddenly gave way and I went tumbling.  My first instinct was to save my DSLR camera (which I did). 
 
A few moments later I realized that I had sliced my right leg open in numerous of spots and was bleeding extremely well.
 
 I thought the cave was spectacular, but had no griped about turning around.  We all had a lot of fun on our way back to the entrance but as we got closer to exiting my friend noticed a set of eyes in the distance, staring at us. 
 
My wife hid behind a pillar as my friend tried to duck behind her.  After a few minutes of being slightly scared, and extremely paranoid, my other buddy caught up to us and informed us that the eyes were merely the tunnel entrance in the distance, with light shinning through now that it was daylight out.
 
While the adventure was fairly short, it was filled with laughs and good times with good friends.  I am not gonna make a habit of visiting this cave, but I will definetly go back sooner rather than later.
 
 
Oahu Karst Cave Photo and Video Links:

The Moiliili Karst Formation http://explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/hikes/Moiliili/cavemap.html

http://explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/hikes/Moiliili/caveorganisms.html

Moili'ili Karst Cave Exploration http://www.alohafrom808.com/2012/06/moiliili-karst-cave-exploration-june-2012/ 

Moili'ili Karst Exploration http://notsogreathikingblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/moiliili-karst-exploration.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RrGTMYk5cXI

Moiliili Karst http://easyhikerhawaii.blogspot.com/2012/07/moiliili-karst.html

Mōʻiliʻili Karst (Mōʻiliʻili Water Cave)http://totakeresponsibility.blogspot.com/2012/12/moiliili-karst-moiliili-water-cave.html 

Moiliili Karst http://punynari.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/moiliili-karst/

Bio Diversity: The Moiliili Karst Formation

Bio Diversity: The Moiliili Karst Formation

 
The Moiliili Karst Formation is a pie shaped wedge that starts at the University of Hawaii lower campus and extends to approximately Kapiolani Avenue.
 
This entire section is a limestone base that was formed from an old coral reef. Rainwater runoff from Manoa Valley has caused the limestone to erode, forming the present day karst caves that lie underneath the busy University / King Shopping complexes.
 
According to Frank Howarth, stresses in a cave environment include, “perpetual darkness and humidity, lack of important environmental cues, complex mazelike living space, stressful or even lethal gas mixtures, patchy food resources, barren rocky substrates, wet and slippery vertical surfaces, and occasional flooding.”
 
 
The primary food resources in caves include organic substances that are brought inside by water and gravity. As William Halliday (pers. comm.) observed, the fish inside the (Moiliili) cave were eating something that dripped from a dribble of water. He also noted that “biota is concentrated near the entrance. Large and small roots are present, with mycelia present on some” (Halliday 1994).
 
Many residents of the Moiliili area are unaware that just a couple meters below their feet, cars, houses, and businesses lies a truly amazing formation. The Moiliili karst formation is not only a “natural laboratory for a largely unstudied groundwater zone,” but also important is the “integration of drainage and economic importance” (Halliday 1998:145).
 
History of Moiliili Karst
 
The Karst was an integral part of the economy and world above it. There were several ponds that were fed by karsic springs. One was located west of University Avenue, upslope of Beretania Street. The Kanewai underground pond was important to Hawaiian culture, because its water was said to have healing properties.
 
Originally the pond was a favorite of Queen Kamamalu (sister of Kamehameha IV and V). The pond served as an enjoyable picnic site for the Queen and her brothers. Hawaiian royalty loved swimming in the ponds, which were also said to have healing powers (Willows Flyer: Appendix A).
 
The pond became the site of the Willows restaurant, and served as an attraction to customers. It was stocked with koi, which interbred with the existing fish creating a school of colorful fish (Halliday 1998).
 
The 1934 Dewatering
 
In 1934, a construction endeavor downslope struck a master conduit of the karst. This caused massive water drainage of the upslope area (Halliday: 1998). According to William Halliday (1998:143), “for more than four months, an average of 3.8 x 107 L was pumped daily before the hole could be sealed and construction resumed.”
 
The total amount pumped before the leak could be sealed was greater that one billion gallons of water (Halliday 1997).
 
The lowering of the water table has had several consequences on the surrounding area. The dramatic changes in the karst from before 1934 to present time are a result of the dewatering. There is assumed to have been considerable economic loss as sidewalks split, water and gas mains ruptured, trees sank, and houses rose and settled (Halliday 1998).
 
The spring feed ponds vanished within 24 hours, taking some fish into the karst, while leaving others stranded. There have been several instances of collapses since the dewatering. One instance involves the Standard Trading store falling through the ground into the karst below it (Watanabe 1996).
 
Another instance involves the emergence of a large cavern downslope from the King-University intersection. Some fish that disappeared from the Hausten Pond were seen there (Halliday 1998).
 
 
Oahu Karst Cave Photo and Video Links:

The Moiliili Karst Formation http://explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/hikes/Moiliili/cavemap.html

http://explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/hikes/Moiliili/caveorganisms.html

Moili'ili Karst Cave Exploration http://www.alohafrom808.com/2012/06/moiliili-karst-cave-exploration-june-2012/ 

Moili'ili Karst Exploration http://notsogreathikingblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/moiliili-karst-exploration.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RrGTMYk5cXI

Moiliili Karst http://easyhikerhawaii.blogspot.com/2012/07/moiliili-karst.html

Mōʻiliʻili Karst (Mōʻiliʻili Water Cave)http://totakeresponsibility.blogspot.com/2012/12/moiliili-karst-moiliili-water-cave.html 

Moiliili Karst http://punynari.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/moiliili-karst/

To Take Responsibility: Mōʻiliʻili Karst (Mōʻiliʻili Water Cave)

To Take Responsibility: Mōʻiliʻili Karst (Mōʻiliʻili Water Cave)

Peter T Young 

http://totakeresponsibility.blogspot.com/2012/12/moiliili-karst-moiliili-water-cave.html

The underground cave system is thought to be part of the original channel of Mānoa stream – people call it the Mōʻiliʻili Karst (Karst being a geological formation shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, such as limestone.)

The wide upslope section of the cave is centered near the intersection of University Avenue and South King Street (down slope from the University Avenue – H-1 interchange.)  The lower edge is located at the intersection of University Avenue and Kapiʻolani Boulevard.

The environment above the karst is highly urbanized, containing busy streets, buildings and businesses. The consequences of such urbanization are evident. Before damages due to urbanization and cave-ins, the Mōʻiliʻili Karst contained a half-mile cave that seemed to be a single connected structure.

There were several ponds that were fed by the karsic springs. One was located west of University Avenue, upslope of Beretania Street (near the UH makai campus.) The Kānewai underground pond was important to Hawaiian culture, because its water was said to have healing properties.

Massive Karst Cave Collapse in 1934
In 1934, a construction project downslope struck a master conduit of the karst. This caused massive water drainage of the upslope area; “for more than four months, an average of 3.8 x 107 L was pumped daily before the hole could be sealed and construction resumed.” The total amount pumped before the leak could be sealed was greater than one billion gallons of water.

The spring-feed ponds vanished within 24 hours.  There have been several instances of collapses since the dewatering. One instance in 1952 involves the Standard Trading store falling through the ground into the karst below it.  Another instance involves the emergence of a large cavern downslope from the King-University intersection.

The leak was repaired, but had changed the karst forever. Several spots in the formation were deliberately filled.  Cave-ins greatly reduced the size of the cave network, and changed access to the underground.

Karst Cave Photo and Video Links:

The Moiliili Karst Formation http://explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/hikes/Moiliili/cavemap.html

http://explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/hikes/Moiliili/caveorganisms.html

Moili'ili Karst Cave Exploration http://www.alohafrom808.com/2012/06/moiliili-karst-cave-exploration-june-2012/ 

Moili'ili Karst Exploration http://notsogreathikingblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/moiliili-karst-exploration.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RrGTMYk5cXI

Moiliili Karst http://easyhikerhawaii.blogspot.com/2012/07/moiliili-karst.html

Mōʻiliʻili Karst (Mōʻiliʻili Water Cave)http://totakeresponsibility.blogspot.com/2012/12/moiliili-karst-moiliili-water-cave.html 

Moiliili Karst http://punynari.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/moiliili-karst/

Honolulu Cave Adventure: Punynari Explores Moiliili (Honolulu, Hawaii) Karst

Moiliili (Honolulu, Hawaii) Karst

 
Honolulu Cave Adventure: Punynari Explores Moiliili (Honolulu, Hawaii) Karst
 
By punynari
 
http://punynari.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/moiliili-karst/
 
This was the most disgusting adventure I’ve ever had….no contest. But, it was also a lot of fun. Under the busy streets, businesses, and apartment complexes of Honolulu, there is a large limestone cave system known as Moiliili Karst that is said to be the host of many unique creatures who live in it’s dark water filled caverns. Please enjoy my photowalk as I explore the underground of Honolulu known as Moiliili Karst.

Fantastic Must See Oahu Karst Cave Videos And Photos


Oahu Karst Cave Videos And Photos

Karst Caves and Underground Karst waterways exist throughout Honolulu- the Southern Oahu shoreline, all Pearl Harbor (Aiea, Navy, Hickam, Pearl City, Waipahu, etc.), ALL of the Ewa Plain, Waianae shoreline, etc.

There are also Karst Caves and water systems along the North Shore and Windward Oahu. A very large Karst Cave in Laie has yielded large amounts of calcite in the form of stalactite-stalagmites and karst Cave calcite has been commonly found on beaches- it is a sparkly, milky white mineral.

Legally, no one should be removing these minerals from existing Karst caves!
Visiting the fairly well documented Moiliili Karst is potentially dangerous and not recommended - however scientific exploration and documentation is highly encouraged.
There was a major Karst cave collapse in Moiliili in the 1930's.
Are we just going to wait for the next one to happen?

City and State government has been nearly completely ignoring future Karst collapse, sea level rise, Ala Wai canal pollution (which is only a fraction of the shoreline pollution going on and not mitigated.) ground water inundation and other very important water issues- despite
existing State Laws, the State Constitution, Public Trust, federal laws and supposed Shoreline Management.

Scientific studies and local shorelines around the Hawaiian Islands are becoming ecological dead zones and more and more fresh water is pumped out or badly polluted and dumped into the ocean.
There is a direct connection between fresh, unpolluted water flowing into the ocean and the ecological health of shoreline and the creatures that live there. Like the mass die off of bees, these small shore sea creatures and algae actually play an important role in our island
ecological health and sustainability. We are headed toward lifeless desert shorelines right now in Hawaii.

Our City and State government officials come pretty close to criminal negligence by not looking out for the health and welfare of its citizens and CLEAN WATER should be number one on the government agenda as we are living on an Island and everything will die without it.
We need to look to the Konohiki system of ecological management of our shorelines as the template for our survival.

Pouring concrete into Karst water caves and fresh water water channels is a sign of a very sick and corrupt government and ultimately will not stop what water intends to do.
It's also a violation of State laws, the Hawaii State Constitution and the Federal Clean Water Act, but the Hawaii government allows this all the time due to contractor-developer pay-offs.
Properly mitigated, sustainable development is what is needed, not the fast bucks and leave town tomorrow mentality that controls our Hawaii government now.

Kanehili Cultural Hui

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 The Moiliili Karst Formation

http://explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/hikes/Moiliili/cavemap.html

http://explorebiodiversity.com/Hawaii/hikes/Moiliili/caveorganisms.html

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Moili'ili Karst Cave Exploration

http://www.alohafrom808.com/2012/06/moiliili-karst-cave-exploration-june-2012/

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Moili'ili Karst Exploration

http://notsogreathikingblog.blogspot.com/2012/06/moiliili-karst-exploration.html

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=RrGTMYk5cXI

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Moiliili Karst

http://easyhikerhawaii.blogspot.com/2012/07/moiliili-karst.html

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Mōʻiliʻili Karst (Mōʻiliʻili Water Cave)

http://totakeresponsibility.blogspot.com/2012/12/moiliili-karst-moiliili-water-cave.html

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Moiliili Karst

http://punynari.wordpress.com/2012/07/15/moiliili-karst/

 


Sea-Level Rise And Groundwater Inundation In Honolulu

Assessment of groundwater inundation in Honolulu

as a consequence of sea-level rise

Kolja Rotzoll    & Charles H. Fletcher
 
Water Resources Research Center, University of Hawaii, 2540 Dole Street,
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA
 
Nature Climate Change   477–481  Volume:3 Pages:
 

Strong evidence on climate change underscores the need for actions to reduce the impacts of sea-level rise. Global mean sea level may rise 0.18–0.48m by mid-century and 0.5–1.4m by the end of the century.

Map of the study area of southern Oahu, Hawaii, surficial geology, aquifer-system boundaries and locations of tidal-efficiency and groundwater-level measurements.Besides marine inundation, it is largely unrecognized that low-lying coastal areas may also be vulnerable to groundwater inundation, which is localized coastal-plain flooding due to a rise of the groundwater table with sea level.

Measurements of the coastal groundwater elevation and tidal influence in urban Honolulu, Hawaii, allow estimates of the mean water table, which was used to assess vulnerability to groundwater inundation from
sea-level rise.

We find that 0.6m of potential sea-level rise causes substantial flooding, and 1m sea-level rise inundates 10% of a 1-km wide heavily urbanized coastal zone. The flooded area including groundwater inundation is more than twice the area of marine inundation alone.

This has consequences for decision-makers, resource managers and urban planners, and may be applicable to many low-lying coastal areas, especially where groundwater withdrawal is not substantial.

Conceptual diagram of a freshwater lens, and marine and groundwater inundation under SLR in the southern Oahu aquifer.Inundation at MHHW under sea-level rise in the Honolulu caprock aquifer, Oahu, Hawaii.