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The Island of Maui: A Volcanic Doublet – July 31st, 2009

20.7N 156.3W

July 31st, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Volcanoes

Hawaii, USA - July 11th, 2009

Hawaii, USA - July 11th, 2009

This orthorectified image focuses on the island of Maui, the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at 727.2 square miles (1883.5 km2). Part of the island of Molokai is also visible at the top left, as is Kahoolawe at the bottom left.

Maui is a “volcanic doublet”, formed from two shield volcanoes whose lava flows overlapped one another to form an isthmus between them. Maui’s largest town, Kahului, is visible on the northern shore of this isthmus.

The older, western volcano has been eroded considerably and is cut by numerous drainages, forming the peaks of the West Maui Mountains. Puʻu Kukui is the highest of the peaks at 5,788 feet (1,764 m).

The larger, younger volcano to the east, Haleakalā, rises to more than 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above sea level, but measures 5 miles (8.0 km) from seafloor to summit, making it one of the world’s highest “mountains”.

The eastern flanks of both volcanoes are cut by deeply incised valleys and steep-sided ravines that run downslope to the rocky, windswept shoreline. The valley-like Isthmus of Maui that separates the two volcanic masses was formed by sandy erosional deposits.

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