|Mauna Ulu, a mountain that originated between 1969 and 1974|
Hawai'i, especially the Big Island, is different. The entire island is less than a million years old, not even 1/4,000th the age of the planet. Because the island sits atop a hot spot, volcanism is a near constant activity, and volcanism leads to major and rapid changes to the landscape. In this current blog series, we've been talking about the "Hawai'i That Was", the environment that existed prior to the arrival of the Europeans, and before the arrival of the Polynesians. But when we look at volcanic activity at Kilauea on the Big Island, we are looking at landscapes that have never existed before. They are new lands.
My last post on the subject was a discussion of how kipukas preserve a bit of the world that was, prior to the eruption. I said that we visited two of them, but I later remembered that we explored two others as well. It was a trail near Chain of Craters Road that took in two volcanoes, Pu'u Huluhulu, and Mauna Ulu (this is a different Pu'u Huluhulu than the one on Saddle Road).
Pu'u Pua'i in Kilauea Iki, Pu'u O'o, Mauna Ulu (below), and...the dome in the crater of Mt. St. Helens in Washington state! Rapid geologic change is not confined to the Big Island of Hawai'i...