HOW HAWAII WAS CREATED

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The Hawaiian Islands are located on the Pacific tectonic plate, which is moving west towards Japan at a rate of about 9 centimeters per year. The islands have come from volcanic eruptions which have spewed molten earth creating lava from the same geographic location for millions of years. As the plate floats over this hotspot, magma finds its way to the ocean floor and continues to accumulate ever higher until the plate has moved past the hotspot.

Currently, the Big Island of Hawaiʻi is over this hotspot and is the only Hawaiian island which has an active volcano where flowing lava can always be observed. This island rises 18,000 feet before it breaks sea level and continues another 14,000 feet above it. Viewed from the perspective of the sea floor the Big Island contains the two tallest mountains in the world both over 32,000 feet from base to peak.

The wind and rain carve beautiful valleys that meander to the heart of the islands. The mountains themselves are laced with faults and lava tubes filled with fresh water which create natural deep and abundant aquifers. Spectacular waterfalls flow from high on the green valley walls.

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