What ocean is Hawaii
The Hawaiian Islands are the only larger archipelago in the central northern Pacific. Its mainland area is almost 17,000 km². In addition to the four large main islands Hawaii, Maui, Oahu (with the capital Honolulu) and Kauai, more than 120 other islands belong to the archipelago, many of them, mostly very small, are uninhabited. More than 1 million people live on the islands; Hawaii is a US state.
The Hawaiian Islands owe their existence to the crossing of two tectonic lines (with a northwest and northeast strike direction). The islands are built up by huge volcanic cones, and coral reefs and limestone also play a role, especially on the smaller islands.
The volcanic cones were created by the lava flows from thousands of outflows, which gradually build up the cones. The lava that pours out of the chimneys of the great volcanoes is thin. It builds so-called shield volcanoes with a slope of up to 10 degrees. Sudden eruptions with catastrophic effects (such as on Vesuvius) do not occur in Hawaii because of the calm lava outflow.
The islands' namesake, Hawaii, is also the largest of the islands with a land area of 10,400 km². The most famous volcanoes in Hawaii are Mauna Kea (extinct), Mauna Loa (active) and Kilauea (active) on the western flank of Mauna Loa. The highest astronomical observatory on earth is located on the summit of Mauna Kea, and a volcanic observatory on Kilaulea.
The temperatures are warm and balanced all year round because of the location in the tropics. In addition to the elevation graduation, a contrast between the north-east and south-west exposed coast is noticeable on the map. Most of the settlements, intensively used cultivation areas and a more or less wide strip of rainforest as original vegetation are located in the northeast. These forests are absent in the east and south of the island. The reason for the contrast is the spatial distribution of precipitation on the favored windward sides and the disadvantaged leeward sides. In summer there are mainly trade winds oriented northwest-southeast. These blow with extraordinary persistence. As a result of the sliding-up processes on the high mountains of the islands, precipitation is among the most intense on earth (at Mt. Waiale on Kauai, 1548 meters altitude, mean annual precipitation 12 547 mm). The highest rainfall does not fall on or at the mountain peaks, but at medium altitudes (around 1500 meters). On the map, the contrast between the windward and leeward sides is also clear from the fact that there are no rivers in the east and south and the few rivers in the northeast only carry water temporarily, while the rivers on the windward side are numerous and mostly carry water continuously. Just as striking is the difference between the north and south roofing of the ridge on which Kilauea lies.
Economy and settlement
The Hawaiian Islands are a major tourist area and a major US military base. There is also the cultivation and processing of sugar cane, coffee and nuts as well as fruit (pineapple, bananas), vegetables and flowers. The cultivation on the drier leeward side sometimes requires additional irrigation. The settlements are mostly on the favored side of the island. A circular road and two cross connections open up the island. Ferry and air traffic provide the link between the islands and the United States. Hawaii is also a frequent stopover for transpacific flights to and from the USA.
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