Hawaiian Islands

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Hawaiian Islands


(also known as the Sandwich Islands), an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean (18°50′-28°15′ N lat., 154°40′-178°15′ E long.). The largest archipelago in Polynesia; it consists of 24 islands extending more than 3,600 km from west northwest to east southeast. The major islands are Hawaii, Maui, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, Niihau, Lanai, and Kahoolawe, all of which are mountainous; the other islands are small and low-lying. There are atolls in the northwest. The Hawaiian Islands are located over an underwater mountain range and are the highest active volcanoes on earth. The extinct volcano Mauna Kea (4,205 m) is the highest point on the islands. There is still volcanic activity on the island of Hawaii.

The climate of the Hawaiian Islands is maritime tropical. Average monthly temperatures range from 18° C in February to 25° C in August, and there is snow on the high mountain peaks in winter. The northeast trade winds bring precipitation that falls primarily on the windward slopes of the mountains. The annual precipitation on the high mountainous islands is from 3,500-4,000 mm to 12,500 mm (on Kauai, one of the wettest areas in the world). Surface drainage is poor because the precipitation is absorbed by the lava; there is a river network only on the largest islands.

The flora and fauna of the islands are distinguished by their high endemism and the unusualness of the species composition. About 90 percent of the plant species are endemic. Tropical rain forest covers the windward slopes from elevations of 600-700 m to 1,600-1,700 m. Low-growing mountain forest continues up to 3,000 m, and shrubs and ferns cover higher elevations. There are savannas and sparse growths of trees on the dry southwestern slopes. Sugarcane, pineapple, banana, and other tropical crop plantations occupy the coastal lowlands and the lower mountain slopes. The timber-line has been lowered as a result of the clearing of the forests for coffee plantations. The fauna belongs to the Hawaiian subregion of the Australian zoogeographic region.


References in periodicals archive ?
The September-October maximum spawning condition coincident with rise in coastal catch rates October-November could result from a return to the islands of the Hawaiian archipelago alter a nonspawning interval offshore.
When the ships of European explorers arrived in the Hawaiian archipelago in the late-18th century, an all too familiar set of social and cultural transformations, changes common for many colonized indigenous peoples, were set into motion.
Recently, the group has begun to look beyond PASH with the aim of preserving the environment "from the rising sun at Ha'eha'e to the setting sun at Lehua"--the entire span of the Hawaiian archipelago.
albisella is a common and conspicuous reef fish endemic to the Hawaiian archipelago.
Lihue, Hawaii (ANS)--Whether or not the year 2000 ushers in a torrent of technological glitches, residents of this island in the Hawaiian archipelago say they will be stronger for having prepared for the worst together, rather than going it alone.
I do not doubt that the ukulele (meaning "jumping flea") was introduced to the Hawaiian archipelago by the Portuguese, although its tuning method is quite different, when compared to the cavaquinho.
Located more than 2,000 miles from the nearest continent, the Hawaiian archipelago is the world's most remote island chain.
The native Hawaiian crickets (family Gryllidae) present another opportunity to investigate a successful radiation endemic to the Hawaiian archipelago.
Presumed original colonists were derived from consideration of two previous estimates of colonization events in the Hawaiian archipelago (Fosberg 1948, Carlquist 1974), and from phylogenetic relationships reported in the Manual by over 50 contributors, including more recent information communicated to us by them.
It is the southernmost of the Hawaiian Archipelago islands and has a population of about 185,000.

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