• Damon Swisher

Wow! Billions of Gallons of Freshwater Discovered Off the Coast of Hawaii

Anyone up for drinks? How about some freshwater?

Well if you’re in Hawaii, you have 920 billion more gallons of freshwater to drink. Cheers!

On November 25, a team of researchers including geohydrologists made a breakthrough discovery in freshwater systems by uncovering an oceanic cache of freshwater off the coast of Hawaii. No one had speculated this reservoir existed before - it's truly like a hidden gem, as if Hawaii could not become a more alluring place than it already was.

It’s no surprise that island communities rely on freshwater reservoirs trapped below basalt layers produced by ancient volcanoes. Since the beginning, sweet pure water had been bubbling up from below, compressed by the Earth's rocky movements for the landlubbers to drink. But even if a reservoir stretches out into the ocean, it's relatively protected thanks to the layers and layers of ocean floor. After some filtration to remove harmful chemicals and sediments; the water is ready to go!

Using electrical resistance imaging tests, the geohydrologists were able to observe dramatic shifts between the ocean’s salty water and the newly discovered freshwater. Due to the inclusion of salt, the difference in electrical resistance between freshwater and saltwater is like night and day, allowing the scientists to trace the new source of water. Funny enough, most of the time they are looking for water, they tend to scan the surface of the ocean in search of floating fresh water bodies, causing them to miss potential sources deep below.

What led the scientists to this research? Well, calculations conducted on Hawaii’s hydrology and freshwater accounting demonstrated a number that was far different from the observable truth; nearly 40% of the freshwater that SHOULD have been there was missing. But where did it go? The researchers believe they’ve found their answer; the 920 billion gallons might have travelled through compressed basalt channels underneath the Hawaiian ground, leading the freshwater out to sea where it eventually pooled in soaked oceanic basalt.

All the scientists have to do now is tap in and verify the existence of the large mass of water, including verification of the amount of water and it’s method of travel. If it truly followed those basalt channels as they suspect, it will be the first time that this method has been proven and recorded.

This discovery could have massive ramifications for future island communities. Perhaps others could benefit from similar studies? Maybe there are more oceans of freshwater trapped below the ocean in similar island chains?

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