Some essential Maui geology

Some essential Maui geology July 24, 2017

 

Maui political map
A simple map of the island of Maui from Wikimedia CC

 

The basic geology of Maui is pretty obvious:  An older volcano to west-northwest, now much eroded, and a new and larger volcano to the south-southeast, connected by a plain formed by the confluence of their lava flows.

 

The larger, younger volcano to the east-southeast, Haleakalā (“house of the sun”), rises to a height of 10,023 feet (3,055 meters) above sea level.  More dramatically, perhaps, it measures five miles (eight kilometers) from seafloor to summit, making it one of the world’s tallest mountains.

 

The Hawaiian Islands -- geology
Public domain bathymetry image of the Hawaiian islands

 

If the sea were a bit lower, or if the other connecting volcanic plains were a bit higher, Maui and Lana’i and Moloka’i and Kaho’olawe (and perhaps even Oahu_ would all be one single unified island.  Omitting Oahu, geologists call that unit or assemblage Maui Nui, or “greater Maui.”  In fact, just 20,000 years ago — not far back, geologically speaking — they were so unified.

 

Posted from Ka’anapali, Maui, Hawai’i

 

 

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