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Haleakalā, Eastern Volcano of Maui, USA

20.7N 156.3W

January 30th, 2012 Category: Volcanoes

USA - December 25th, 2011

This orthorectified image shows the island of Maui, the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at 727.2 square miles (1,883 km2) and the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui’s diverse landscapes are the result of a unique combination of geology, topography, and climate. Each volcanic cone in the chain of the Hawaiian Islands is built of dark, iron-rich/quartz-poor rocks, which poured out of thousands of vents as highly fluid lava, over a period of millions of years. Several of the volcanoes were close enough to each other that lava flows on their flanks overlapped one another, merging into a single island.

Maui is such a “volcanic doublet”, formed from two shield volcanoes that overlapped one another to form an isthmus between them. This image focuses on the larger, younger volcano to the east, Haleakalā, which 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 the volcano are cut by deeply incised valleys and steep-sided ravines that run downslope to the rocky, windswept shoreline.

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