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Haleakala Caldera Maui Hawaii
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Haleakala or the East Maui Volcano is a massive shield volcano that forms more than 75% of the Hawaiian Island of Maui and is surrounded by Haleakala National Park. This special place vibrates with stories of ancient and modern Hawaiian culture and protects the bond between the land and its people. The park also cares for endangered species, some of which exist nowhere else.
When asked about Hawaiian volcanoes, most people imagine the Island of Hawaii and its eruptions at Kilauea or Mauna Loa volcanoes. But East Maui volcano has witnessed at least ten eruptions in the past 1,000 years. It is the giant volcano that peaks out at over 10,000 feet and looms over Maui. From the summit one looks down into a massive depression some 11.25 km (7 mi) across, 3.2 km (2 mi) wide, and nearly 800 m (2,600 ft) deep. The surrounding walls are steep and the interior mostly barren-looking with a scattering of volcanic cones.
Early Hawaiians applied the name Haleakala ("house of the sun") to the general mountain. Haleakala is also the name of a peak on the south western edge of Kaupo Gap. In Hawaiian folklore, the depression at the summit of Haleakala was home to the grandmother of the demigod Maui. According to the legend, Mauis grandmother helped him capture the sun and force it to slow its journey across the sky in order to lengthen the day. Haleakala last erupted in the 1790s. It is 33 miles wide and 24 miles long, and the main crater is 7.5 miles long and 2.5 miles wide. The view left me speechless. It is such a Mars-like landscape that it is hard to believe we are still on earth.
December 1st, 2011
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