Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 65 Number 1: 68-75 April 2003

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Raw Sewage and Solid Waste Dumps in Lava Tube Caves of Hawaii Island
William R. Halliday


Lava tubes on the island of Hawaii (and elsewhere) are possible subsurface point sources of contamination in addition to more readily identifiable sources on the surface. Human and animal waste, and hazardous and toxic substances dumped into lava tube caves are subject to rapid transport during flood events, which are the dominant type of groundwater flow through Hawaiian lava tubes. Although these waste materials may not be a major source of pollution when compared with some surface sources, this potential hazard should be evaluated much as in the case of karstic floodwater conduits.

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