- About Hawaii
- Hawaii's Islands
- Hawaii's Towns
- Hawaii Travel

About Hawaii
Hawaiian Music
Photo Gallery

Hawaii Islands
All Islands

Hawaii Topics
Things to Do
What to See

Hawaiian Music
Karen Keawehawaii Singing with Raiatea Helm

Hawaii Travel on Facebook Page

Geology of Hawaii

Information about the geology of Hawaii.

Geological Diversity of Hawaii's Islands

The major Hawaiian islands are part of the same state, they have similar geologic histories, and they are closely spaced in a vast ocean, yet each has its own character. Oahu is densely populated and intensely used, and it offers a view of bustle and confusion common to urban America. The island of Hawaii, the Big Island, by comparison has an air of relative space and distance, with large ranches, high, barren volcanos, and large stretches of almost treeless land. Its land area is dominated by five huge shield volcanoes. Sugar, cattle ranching, and tourism are its major industries.

Kauai, sometimes called the garden isle because of its lush tropical vegetation, is heavily eroded into a spectacular scenery of mountains, canyons, cliffs, and waterfalls. Kauai is becoming increasingly popular with tourists because of its dramatic physical environment. Neighboring Niihau is privately owned and is operated as the Niihau Ranch Company. Most of its few hundred residents are native Hawaiians.

Maui, the second largest of the islands, offers a contrast between the plantations of its central lowlands and the rugged mountains to either side. Tourist development, concentrated along the western coastal strip, has been intense, with the result that Maui had the most rapid rate of population increase of any of the islands in the 1970s and 1980s. Still, much of the rest of the island remains little changed and sparsely populated.

Molokai is half ranchland and half rugged mountains. Its north coast is dominated by spectacular sea cliffs as much as 1,100 meters high, while the south shore is a broad coastal plain. It is perhaps the least economically developed of the populated Hawaiian Islands.

Lanai and Kahoolawe are both in the lea of much higher Maui. As a result, both are dry. Neither have any permanent streams. Pineapple production is the only important economic activity on Lanai. The U.S. Navy administers Kahoolawe and uses it for military exercises.


Geology of the Hawaiian Islands
Article on the Kapiolani Community College Web site with an introeduction and information about the geology of Hawaii. Sections include the geology of each island and Hawaii's volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunami, water cycles, air pollution, beaches, and coral islands.

Geology of Hawaii and Hawaii's Coastline
This article on the Web site of the University of Hawaii, School of Ocean and Earth Science begins with an introduction to the geology of Hawaii and it includes information about the coastline geology of the islands of Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Lanai, Kahoolawe, and the Big island of Hawaii.

Hawaii-Guide "Geology and Geography" Article

Geology of Hawaiian Reefs (PDF)

General Information About Hawaii

Islands of Hawaii

Destinations in Hawaii

Hawaii for Visitors

See also
Blog With Hawaii Tourism Posts
Facebook "Hawaii for Visitors" Page
Twitter "Hawaii for Visitors" Feed

| About Hawaii | Activities | Attractions | Big Island | Events | Kauai | Kahoolawe | Lanai | Lodging | Maui | Niihau | Kahoolawe | Oahu | Pearl Harbor | Polynesian Cultural Center | Recipes | Transportation | Waikiki |

Partner Sites
Hawaii Blog
Hawaiian Music
California Travel