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44 Acres of Coastline Collapse in Hawaii

Why would anyone live on a volcano in the middle of an ocean?

44 Acres of Coastline Collapse in Hawaii

HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, Hawaii - About 44 acres of coastline collapsed into the ocean this week, setting loose a glowing stream of lava that shot out from the newly exposed cliffside 45 feet above the water. The plume, 6 feet in diameter, sent up a tower of steam as it hit the water and began forming a ramp of new land.

The collapse of solidified lava shelf and sea cliff Monday was the largest since Kilauea Volcano began its current eruption in 1983.

Jim Kauahikaua, scientist-in-charge of the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, said a collapse warning was issued in June because the shelf had become large and had formed cracks. Large collapses had happened in the area before.

What moron thought of living on Hawaii? It's a freaking volcanic island in the middle of the ocean. Where will they go when that sucker blows? What the typhoons don't wash away, the volcano will eventually reclaim.

We all know that eventually the volcano(s) will blow. It's time for the people of Hawaii to think about pulling out and leaving the islands now before it is too late.

I'd warn people to read what this is filed under but history tells me I'd be wasting my time.


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Comments (29)

Heaven help me, Paul. A po... (Below threshold)
Maggie:

Heaven help me, Paul. A post about nature...about the danger of living on a volcanic island....

NOT ONE WORD ABOUT MY SUV? NO MENTION OF GLOBAL WARMING?

Bless you, darling.

I think I'm in LOVE!

I'm afraid the caption cont... (Below threshold)

I'm afraid the caption contest photo is still affecting me, because upon reading this:

What moron thought of living on Hawaii? It's a freaking volcanic island in the middle of the ocean. Where will they go when that sucker blows?

I instantly thought, "We're going to need a bigger condom."

There are different types o... (Below threshold)
doug:

There are different types of volcano's. Those that blow like Mt. St. Helens, and those that "ooze" like the one on the big Island.

Geeze, I learned that in 4th grade.

Yeah, Hawaiian volcanos are... (Below threshold)

Yeah, Hawaiian volcanos are "oozers," unlikely to blow. But the landslide problem is not an insignificant one. I recall reading of the great concern that vulanologists have about major slippage on weak fact of the northern slope of the "Big Island". If that lets go, then we're suddenly talking major tsunami, with nothing between it and the California coast. They suspect waves in the 200-ft range.

Gee, That's about as stupi... (Below threshold)
LouisianaLightning:

Gee, That's about as stupid as living below sea level surrounded by a lake and river.....

er, nevermind :-)

yeah, I was about to say...... (Below threshold)

yeah, I was about to say...

WHAT ABOUT THE HAWAIIAN WETLANDS!!!!!!!

SAVE THE HAWAIIAN GOPHER TORTOISE!!!!!!!!

WHERE IS FEMA?!??!?!?!?!?! WHERE IS FEMA?!?!?!?!?!?!

IT'S ALL BUSH'S FAULT!!!!!!!!!!!

there. I feel better now.

...major tsunami, with n... (Below threshold)

...major tsunami, with nothing between it and the California coast. They suspect waves in the 200-ft range...

Don't those people living on the California coast know they're crazy to live there with danger of a Hawaiian tsunami so imminent? They'll drive our insurance rates up! They'll expect us to help them with our tax money!

Sheesh Paul,You li... (Below threshold)
RiverRat:

Sheesh Paul,

You live in a below sea level snake and mosquito infested swamp colonialized by frogs and you're calling Hawaiians who populated their islands by boats morons? BTW, Their islands are getting larger and you're swamp is sinking...think about it.

Sorry Paul,You are... (Below threshold)
RiverRat:

Sorry Paul,

You are not a swamp, you just live in one and from this post I must conclude you suffer a virulant form of swamp fever.

Paul, I held out hope that ... (Below threshold)

Paul, I held out hope that you were wrong, that despite history, people might recognize what this was. I guess RiverRat proved you right.

it's a shield volcano. no w... (Below threshold)
plebe:

it's a shield volcano. no worries. (aside from tsunamis) lava's pretty frikken dope! i was there in May and wanted to pee on it but other people were around so i took off my shirt and vaporized it. i was probably standing on the part that fell off. Moana Kea is the tallest mountain in the world depending how you measure it. over 30,000 ft. ! i live here and i'm so goin again next year.

It's global warming, I tell... (Below threshold)
Dave S:

It's global warming, I tell ya.

Why should California be co... (Below threshold)
dillpickle:

Why should California be concerned about a possible Tsunami?? They are living in a state that averages over 300 earthquakes in a single day. They can't light a match for fear of the Santa Anna winds feeding marauding killer fires! Failed to mention, besides waiting on the "Big One", the land is so unstable along the coastline that simple rain routinely sends houses hurtling into the ocean. I would take a vacation in Hawaii any day verses the giggling, muddy, slippery and windblown state of California. Hawaii's lava flows about as fast as a sloth.

there are worse ways of dyi... (Below threshold)

there are worse ways of dying. sitting in front of a computer is one of them.

The Big Island is pretty fr... (Below threshold)
SheridJo:

The Big Island is pretty freakin' huge. It has an area of more than 4,028 square miles (93 miles long by 76 miles wide) and is home to the Parker Ranch, which is one of the biggest ranches in the US. If it had a 'spodey volcano like Mt. St. Helens, which close to me, I'd agree that it would be risky place to live. Since its an oozey volcano and the the path of the lava flows are pretty well established and mostly designated as national park lands, however, living there is not that unsafe.

It's Mauna Kea, not Moana K... (Below threshold)

It's Mauna Kea, not Moana Kea.

I was on the Big Island at Volcano in May, too. Fortunately, I avoided the shirtless peeing man, though. ;-)

ginabina IN HI

Ah RiverRat, perchance you ... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

Ah RiverRat, perchance you should grab a dictionary and look up the word Satire...you know, the category the post was under...

This post has become the "W... (Below threshold)
edmcgon:

This post has become the "Which is worse: California or Hawaii?" thread. Tough call, but I vote for Alaska. Only because I can't stand the cold.

Actually this is an intelli... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Actually this is an intelligence detection thread. As Faith+1 noted, some people pass the test and some people don't.

I blame Bush.... (Below threshold)
JSchuler:

I blame Bush.

A significant geological as... (Below threshold)
-S-:

A significant geological aspect to the Hawaiian Islands -- that a whole lot of people, even some geologists -- do not want to recognize but which is proven now with assurity, is that the Islands experience a "calving off" in landslides that plunge whole portions of the Islands off into the sea.

Take a good look at the Island of Molokini (to the NorthWest of Maui, to the SouthEast of Oahu) and you'll see today a landmass that's shaped moreorless like a line running from top, NorthWest, to bottom, SouthEast.

Molokini USED to be more circular, moreorless like what the Big Island of Hawaii (where this recent slide occured) looks like now.

But, what occured to Molokini is that the, generally speaking, upper right slice and bottom left slice of the "circle" of land, sliced off and slid under the ocean -- one great big landslide on both sides of the originally large land mass, leaving the center ridge running topleft to lowerright remaining.

And it's established now that all the Islands experience similiar landsliding-loss-into-the-ocean over time, with remaining portions (the longest before eventual complete erosion back into the sea) are only the most central portions of the previous eruptions.

Take another closer look at any good map of the Pacific and you can see an entire range of Islands and previous Islands that used to be "Hawaii" as to creation events, that have now nearly to completely slide and eroded back into the Pacific. It's the fate of all the Islands given time.

Another perhaps depressing geological fact is that the Island of Maui and the Islands of Molokini and Keaavalave were all one big circular Island that resembles (also) what the Big Island of Hawaii looks like today. Only parts of it, also, slid off into the Pacific, and eroded otherwise, and what remains are just the higher, "ridge line" areas above water...the rest of that once large Island is now under the ocean, as will the rest of each remaining portion, eventually...but Molokini seems to be most immediately fated, with the Big Island prime to "calve off" portions (same with Maui's far Western side) into the ocean sooner than the rest.

Sorry, typo: Kahoolawe.</p... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Sorry, typo: Kahoolawe.

I forgot to include the Island of Lanai in those remarks as to what the Island of Maui used to be comprised of: one large landmass that is now only remaining isolated portions, now called Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai and Maui as Islands, but they all originally were one large Island of Maui before it experienced calving off in undersea landslides, leaving only the very highest portions of the original lava flows remaining above sea level.

It's not a case of the sea levels having risen to the extent that submerged the existing landmass, but of the landmass actually calving off into slides that fell away into the deeper ocean.

Which is now known to be the fate of the Big Island of Hawaii, by geological observation. It's eventually going to be a much smaller Island because of this and the landsliding of these paltry 40 is nothing compared to the eventual slides that will occur, as have already on the original Maui and otherwise with the earlier Islands to the NorthWest.

<a href="http://www.alterna... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Tourist-level map...for reference.

Heck, we're stuck on this s... (Below threshold)
epador:

Heck, we're stuck on this spinning ball of unstable sludge, prone to repeated sprays of solar flares, asteroid and comet hits, and the core is cooling, threatening to eventually kill off the magnetic fields that currently protect us. Why the heck did we choose to live here and why don't we move before the days of destruction greet us head on?

Nobody here has explained i... (Below threshold)
Hawaiian:

Nobody here has explained it correctly. The part that broke off was literally a "shelf". It had formed over some years as lava which reached the ocean solidified and remained attached to the coastline. The shelf grew, eventually becoming too heavy, and then cracked, broke off and sank. There was no "landslide" The shelf had nothing directly underneath it but water.
Anyway. It's pretty cool. Don't listen to all that crap about "all the islands sinking". Maui was never a part of Lanai or Molokai, that's crap.
Have a nice day.

No reason to start panickin... (Below threshold)
Palmateer:

No reason to start panicking - the Army Corps of Engineers will begin working on the solution immediately.

Hawaiian says... >Th... (Below threshold)
Not Hawaiian:

Hawaiian says...
>The shelf had nothing directly underneath it but water.

Ack! Wrong. It may be *called* a "shelf" but that most certainly does NOT mean that it is analogous to a bookshelf. It did NOT have water underneath it. In fact, this volcanic shelf (or bench) is more like a delta building gently seaward, lava flow after lava flow. But the whole area is very young, and as the lava cools completely it fractures (due mainly to thermal contraction of the rocks as they cool) and water gets into the cracks and the whole thing is weak and Bingo! it breaks loose and slides (yes SLIDES) into the sea. It is best described as a landslide, not as an unsupported shelf that "cracked, broke off and sank". I just lectured about this topic last week in the geology class I teach, and now I have a fortuitous (for me!) live example of it. You have a nice day too.

Fool me once, shame on me, ... (Below threshold)
Sean:

Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice and ... uh... we won't be fooled again.

Check out a site dedicated ... (Below threshold)

Check out a site dedicated to the absurdity and satire nature of saying "It's All George Bush's Fault!"

http://www.itsallgeorgebushsfault.com

Regards,
Notta Libb




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