Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hawaiian volcanoes

I have to thank my fellow geobloggers for giving me some ideas for my Hawaiian vacation.  Spring in the Rockies can have glorious weather that allows for quality time outside, or it can be snow and cold and wind, with the emphasis on the cold and snow and wind. What better time to visit Hawaii?  Our choice of the big island was easy, where else do you get to combine all of the earth sciences? Geology was everywhere we looked, with the concentration of course being with volcanic rock. Astronomy was well represented by the Mauna Kea observatories and oceanography is self explanatory.

We did see steam rising from the ocean as new lava poured in. The NPS sure wanted to keep us safe so the view was a distant one. The highlight here was the walk across Kilauea Iki, the smaller Kilauea caldera. There are no pictures as it was raining too hard to get the camera our or to see anything.

What I found amazing was to hike across large open areas of fairly new lava flow. It must of been quite a sight watching lava pour over this cliff.  The biology was incredible watching the succession of plants create soil.

The black sand beaches were fun just to play in.  It was hard to imagine the interaction between the hot lava and the cooler water while we were playing in the sand watching sea turtles in the surf.

Just a reminder of the earthquakes that can occur around the Pacific Rim. This is definitely an image that will make it into my class slide shows.

What a tropical look. The lava flows coming right down to the ocean with palm trees on the beach...I could live here.

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