Hawaii Geography

Hawaii Geography

The Hawaii is the southernmost state of US, which lies towards the far south and is widely separated from the mainland of United States. The Hawaiian archipelago is a string of eight principle islands and a number of smaller islands. This is the world's longest chain of island, 11523 miles long stretching northwest to east south and is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on all sides. Honolulu has remained the state capital of the island since it has acquired the statehood status.

The Physical Geography of Hawaii

The Hawaiian Islands are of volcanic origin and are the visible portion of a series of submerged volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean. Taking into account, the depth of the ocean in these areas, the Hawaiian mountain forming the island chain is considered to be the highest mountains in the world being about 4800 to 9800 meters above the sea level. The seven major islands of the Hawaii are inhabited while the eight and the smallest major islands do not have anyone living in it. The remaining numerous islands are very small and are slowly eroding into mere speck of land. The only island, which is still growing, is the largest island of the chain, the Island of Hawaii.

The Mountain Ranges and Rivers in Hawaii

The volcanic eruption that was the main cause of the formation of the island still continues at many places but is not of the very explosive type. The state capital landmark, the Diamond Head is the largest volcanic cone of around 240 meters that has been formed as a result of explosive eruption. The active volcanoes in the Hawaii Big Island that frequently erupts are the Mauna Loa and the Kilauea which lies close to each other, and forms the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. On the Maui lies the mammoth dormant crater of Haleakala, which is also the main highlight of the Haleakala National Park.

The Wailuku River, the largest river in Hawaii carrying water all round the year and the Anahulu River in Oahu are the two main rivers of the Island chain. The major lake of Hawaii is the Salt Lake.

List of rivers of Hawaii

Hawaii River Name Island
'Ohe'o Gulch Stream Oahu
Anahulu River Oahu
Halawa Stream Molokai
Hanakapiai Stream Kauai
Hanakoa Stream Kauai
Hanalei River Kauai
Hanawi Stream Maui
Honolewa Stream Hawaii
Honolii Stream Hawaii
Honomu Stream Hawaii
Kahakuloa Stream Maui
Kaukonahua River Oahu
Kahana Stream Oahu
Kaiwilahilahi Stream Hawaii
Kalalau Stream Kauai
Kalihiwai River Kauai
Kaluanui Stream Oahu
Kapehu Stream Hawaii
Kapia Stream Maui
Kawainui Stream Molokai
Koaie Stream Kauai
Kolekole Stream Hawaii
Koloa Gulch Oahu
Limahuli Stream Kauai
Lumahai River Kauai
Manoloa Stream Hawaii
Ninole Stream Hawaii
Nualolo Aina Stream Kauai
Opea Stream Hawaii
Paheehee Stream Maui
Paukauila Stream Oahu
Pelekunu Stream Maui
Waialae Stream Hawaii
Waikolu Stream Molokai
Wailau Stream Maui
Wailua River Kauai
Wailuku River Hawaii
Waimanu Stream Hawaii
Waimea River Kauai

The Islands in Hawaii

The Hawaiian chain of islands which are the submerged volcanic islands can be classified into three groups. The first group makes up the major eight island of the chain and the second and the third group makes up the remaining 124 islands which are just about three or four square miles in area and unfit for human inhabitation. The second group of island is the middle stretch of tiny islands made of rock and the third group is the islands comprised of coral and sand located at the northwest.

The Main Islands of Hawaii

Hawaii: Hawaii is the largest of the group and covers an area of more than 4000 square miles. The island is protected by very high cliffs in the north and southeastern coast having beautiful waterfall at the edge. This island is the only growing island in the group and has five volcanoes; Kohala in the northeastern side, Hualalai in the west, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa in the centre and Kilauea in the east. Mauna Loa and Kilauea are the active volcanoes which usually erupt once in about 5 to 7 years. The Mauna Kea at a height of about 13, 796 feet above the sea level is the highest point in the island.

Maui: Maui usually called the Valley Island, was formed from two volcanic mountains and has a number of canyons that cut into these mountains. Haleakala, the highest point on Maui has the largest dormant volcano in the world which is considered to erupt within the next two hundred years. The area between the two mountains is very fertile and is best for sugarcane cultivation.

Kaho`olawe: This is a dry and windswept land and the only uninhabited major island which is located next to the Maui island.

Moloka`i: This island is mainly divided into three physical regions, the eastern part having a number of rugged mountains and canyons, the central part having the most fertile plain suited for cultivation of different crops and in the west, the dry plateau region.

Lana`i: This Island has a very fertile stretch of land and more than ninety percent of the island is owned by private pineapple producers, Dole products.

O`ahu: Diamond Head, the extinct volcanic crater is located at the south eastern end of the Waianae mountain range in the west of this Island. The other mountain range is the Koolau Range in the east of O'ahu. The land between the two mountain ranges is a fertile stretch of land fit for sugarcane and pineapple plantation.

Kaua`i: The Island is nicknamed the Garden Island and has a number of streams flowing to the sea through the volcanic canyons. The Kawaikini Peak and the Mount Waialeale are located in the centre of the island and are more than 5000 feet above the sea level. The northwestern part of the Kaua'i Island is full of rugged cliffs.

Ni`ihau: The island nicknamed 'the forbidden island' is a privately owned land by Robinson Family of Kaua'i.