Mud can be transported downslope in flood waters and stormwater onto floodplains in South Maui through a process called erosion. Erosion occurs when water flows over the surface of the land and picks up loose soil, rock, and other materials, which are then carried downstream. This process can be intensified during heavy rainfall events or when there is an excess of water flowing over the land surface, such as in a flood.
When mud is transported onto floodplains in South Maui, it can have a number of destructive effects. For example, the mud may cover and smother vegetation, damaging or destroying plants and ecosystems. The mud may also clog water channels and drainage systems, causing flooding and water damage to buildings and infrastructure.
In addition to the physical damage caused by mud, it can also contribute to water pollution. When mud is carried into streams and rivers, it can carry with it contaminants such as pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals that may have been applied to the land upstream. These contaminants can have negative impacts on the water quality and the health of aquatic ecosystems.
Here are some resources relating to the impacts of mud on floodplains and water quality:
- HAWAII COASTAL EROSION MANAGEMENT PLAN (COEMAP) https://climateadaptation.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/COEMAP1.pdf
- Sediment and Suspended Sediment. https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/sediment-and-suspended-sediment