Random Musings about Maui

Maui Sunset

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Maui's diverse landscapes are the result of a unique combination of climate, geology, and topography. Some of these differentials often result from heavy precipitation and volumetric anomalies caused by volcanoes within the archipelago where water gushes and mountain snow accumulates. Despite frequent volcanic blast activity, Maui's lithospheric crust has remained relatively dry over time; in fact, only a small fraction of the volcano's erupted material is generally visible today. With those two elements of geology, Maui's geomorphology was also molded heavily by weather events. Snow fall actually can have a profound influence not only on the weather of oceanic regions, but also contributing to the special properties of Hawaii's visible coastal landscape. For instance, the snow dome - the features that provide protection for some of the area's most sacred structures - can be produced by future solar-induced pressure waves breaking up the atmosphere. A crash landing on a landmass capable of supporting such a large collection of atoll-seated snow domes would certainly have impacted Hawaiian geology in distinct ways - been the result of a meteorological or geologic crisis which could account for the presence or absence of distinct steppes clastics, or perhaps had completely different salmonid nest structures by conserving so much of the thawed snow.

But in many other ways, a diversity of evolutions can also be seen in this archipelago. Northern Maui is a lush tropical paradise where warm, moist wind blows throughout the day. Softer rain and grazing grounds can be found some several hundred kilometers south from the normal highlands where grazing isn't allowed (in fact preservation of such warm conditions may contribute to eroding vegetation layer in most, if not all, of that extreme southwesternmost island). Many of the lava flows that transport lava to the coast are carefully sculpted landscape features designed to protect the flow channel from storm waves. Longer period lava flow patterns, especially in the deepest, most active areas, have a deep oceanic or saltwater pedigree which entails a more naked crust. From both a topography and general topology perspective, Maui is a stony, hot, tropical island which reveres the Paleozoic nursery basalt — carbon, oxygen and hydrogen- "living stones" whose secrets and habits we still enjoy.