Over several weeks this summer, University of Guam scientists and graduate students measured the freshwater outflow from Ayuyu Cave to gather information on the volume of fresh water discharging into the ocean from Guam’s primary aquifer.
The results showed that 2.3 million gallons of freshwater flows daily into the ocean from Ayuyu Cave, located on the island's rocky northwestern coast. This significant finding was part of Ida Shalilian’s thesis research for her master’s degree in Environmental Science.
Shalilian defended her thesis in January and returned to Guam to gather more data after receiving a travel grant from the Research Corporation of the University of Guam. She graduated with a Master of Science in Environmental Science in May 2017.
Shalilian presented her updated research findings as well as related information on associated geological features to Guam Waterworks Authority (GWA) professionals on June 8, 2017.
“The freshwater discharge from Ayuyu Cave can only be measured during the low tides of May and June, which is the end of Guam’s dry season,” said Dr. John Jenson, Director of the Water and Environmental Research Institute of the Western Pacific (WERI). “Rainy seasons may produce higher volumes of freshwater discharge, so this finding is of significant value to Guam.”
Freshwater resources are critically important to island communities. Information about the natural plumbing of the northern Guam aquifer provides local resource managers, such as GWA, with valuable insights.
This information will be published in a WERI technical report, a refereed research paper, and made available to the public on WERI’s website.
“Ida’s work is just one example of the valuable research produced by graduates of the Environmental Science program at UOG,” Jenson said.
For more information contact Dr. John Jenson at firstname.lastname@example.org.