How The Hawaiian Islands Were Formed

By November 27, 2018About Hawaii, History

Those who are looking for vacation rentals at Kolea in Waikoloa might also be interested in knowing about some of the natural history of the islands. Hawaii, like a number of island chains, was created by volcanoes below the surface of the ocean. The earth’s crust can be described by a series of “tectonic” plates. When these plates push together, volcanoes are formed exposing the molten surface below. In some cases, volcanoes form in the middle of the plate. Here, magma will rise up toward the surface of the plate eventually erupting on the seafloor. These are known as “hot spots”. The Hawaiian Islands were formed by just such a hotspot in the middle of the Pacific plate.

Tectonic Plants and Hot Spots

Tectonic plates do not remain motionless on the surface of the earth. In fact, they move around. The earth used to have only one continent known as Pangea. This is occurred even before the dinosaurs evolved. Over the course of billions of years, the continents drifted into the formation that you see today—but they’re still drifting. Who knows what they’ll look like in another billion years.

While it’s true that the tectonic plates move, the hotspot itself remains fixed. In this way, scientists can determine the relative age of each of the Hawaiian islands. The youngest is the Lōʻihi Seamount, which remains entirely submerged below water and has a thriving colony of bacteria that can eat iron.

“The Island Effect”

The Island Effect, also known as Foster’s rule in evolutionary biology, holds that creatures may vastly change size depending on present conditions on an island. This effect is unique to islands and formed the backbone of Darwin’s theories on evolution.

For this reason, isolated islands are well known for having unique biodiversity. The Hawaiian islands are no exception. With over 25,000 unique species of animal and plant wildlife, Hawaii is among the most biodiverse regions in the world. This is especially true due to Hawaii’s isolation from other landmasses.

However, modern technology has made it much easier to access Hawaii which has resulted in a rapid decline of the island’s biodiversity. Tourism has introduced new species to the island which have thrown the delicate balance of the ecosystem out of whack. Before you fault yourself, this remains the case with just about every place on earth that now has humans and, if evolution has taught us anything, species will adapt over time to survive.

It still remains one of the most intriguing spots in the world for scientific study and is a natural magnet for tourists from all over the world due to its natural beauty and perfect climate.

Find Out More About Hawaii Today

Those interested in sightseeing and relaxing in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world need look no further than Waikoloa Vacation Rentals. Our condos offer an ocean view, a partial ocean view, or a view of the golf course. Please feel free to give us a call or contact us online to reserve a spot for you and your family today.