January 15, 2011

Here is my new blog! I am focusing on the Big Island of Hawai’i, its geographical wonders, and the issues surrounding living on an island that is still growing (it is 500,000 years old)! The Big Island of Hawai’i is the largest of the main Hawaiian islands; all of the others can fit inside it. It has 4,028 square miles. Two of the largest mountains in the world are situated here: Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.

Mauna Loa came out of the sea approximately 4,000 years ago. It is the world’s widest volcano by base size, and is the tallest mountain in the world as measured from the bottom of its base in the ocean. It last erupted in 1982.

Mauna Kea is a little older. Situated on top are some of the world’s most powerful telescopes such as the Keck 1 and 2 and the Subaru telescope. If you didn’t know all ready, Mauna Kea receives snowfall in the winter, and is capped with a white tint. It is the tallest mountain on the island, standing at 13,796 ft. above sea level (more than 200 ft. taller than Mauna Loa.) It is dormant, but may erupt again some day.

Also, there are 3 other volcanoes

Kohala is the oldest of the island’s ‘volcanoes’. It is extinct. I live in the saddle between Kohala and Mauna Kea in the ranching town of Waimea (Kamuela). It peaks at just over 3,000 ft.

Hualalai is a 9,000 ft. + mountain situated on the western point of the island. Below it is the city of Kailua-Kona, the entertainment center on the island. It is expected to erupt within the next 100 years. When this happens, it will likely severely damage Kailua-Kona.

Kilauea is the world’s most active volcano. It is the least prominent of the volcanoes, it seems to be situated on the massive slopes of Mauna Loa. Kilauea Caldera’s Halemaumau Crater releases over 2,000 tons of volcanic smog, or ‘vog’, into the air daily. The usual winds blow it south around the southern end of Mauna Loa and up the coast to Kailua-Kona. It can cause people with breathing problems difficulties. Currently, a lava flow from Kilauea is destroying homes in Kalapana, 15 miles east of Halemaumau.

Both Kilauea and some of Mauna Loa are on the land of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, established in 1916.

I will continue with the geography of Hawai’i island on my next post.

"Natural Air Pollution"