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 ?
Mr Brooking, 55, has travelled thousands of miles from his home parish on the mountainous Hawaiian island of Kauai to spend six weeks on an official exchange trip to Blyth, Northumberland.
By state and federal law, research in the North-western Hawaiian Islands must further the conservation and management goals of the monument.
Within just 5 years, singing has nearly died out among a population of cricket on a Hawaiian island, researchers report.
It shows the average height of waves in the Hawaiian Islands.
Another project of note is the Hawaiian Islands Tap Dance Festival, an occasional event which takes place this November at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center in Kahalui.
Carolyn and Bob Mehaffy's Cruising Guide To The Hawaiian Islands (0939837269, $29.
America West Airlines (NYSE: AWA) is to introduce several new services to the Hawaiian Islands starting later this year.
If the cure for whatever ails you doesn't come in a bottle, box, or a medicine cabinet, it may be time to take a wellness vacation far away form the concrete jungle to the tropical beauty of the Caribbean and Hawaiian islands.
The beer is currently offered only on the Hawaiian Islands, but national distribution is planned.
The four-day-old grey Hawaiian Goose gosling, or nene as it is known in its native Hawaiian Islands, in just one of the young wildfowl to be successfully reared at the trust's base at Slimbridge, Gloucestershire.
HAWAIIAN CULTURAL DAY: Learn all about the sights and sounds of the Hawaiian Islands at the Hawaiian Cultural Day festival.
All three islands--Nihoa, Necker, and Laysan--are federal lands within the Hawaiian islands National Wildlife Refuge.

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