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Mauna Kea Morning [65]

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Mauna Kea
Mauna Kea is the tallest volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. This is the eastward view from our resort.

We booked a tour to visit the top in time for sunset and stargazing. I’ll post pictures from that adventure soon.

In this picture, you can see how the clouds from the windward side of the island are held back by the height of the mountains formed by the island volcanoes. This causes the windward side of the island to develop rain forests, while the leeward side of the island stays dry.

Twelve distinct climate zones exist on the Big Island, from tropical rain forests in Hilo and Ka‘u’s arid desert to the snow-capped summit of Mauna Kea.. A Hawaiian legend tells of two deities, volcano goddess Pele and demi-god Kamapua‘a, battling over the island. The two eventually struck a deal, dividing the Big Island in two: the dry west side (Kona) and tropical east side (Hilo).

From the Wikipedia article on Mauna Kea –
Mauna Kea is a dormant volcano on the island of Hawaiʻi. Standing 4,205 m (13,796 ft) above sea level, its peak is the highest point in the state of Hawaiʻi. However, a significant part of the mountain is under water; when measured from its oceanic base, Mauna Kea is over 10,000 m (33,000 ft) high, significantly higher than Mount Everest. This great height is due mostly to its advanced age. Being about a million years old, Mauna Kea’s most active shield stage of life was hundreds of thousands of years ago. In its current post-shield state, its erupted lavas are more viscous and have created a steeper profile. This late volcanism has given it a much rougher appearance than its neighboring volcanoes, the construction of cinder cones, decentralization of its rift zones, glaciation on its peak, and weathering effects of the prevailing trade winds being contributing factors.


Written by arangodan

August 21, 2010 at 8:30 am

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