Of the 50 U.S. states, Hawaii is the eighth-smallest in land area and the 11th-least populous, but with 1.4 million residents ranks 13th in population density. Two-thirds of the population lives on O’ahu, home to the state’s capital and largest city, Honolulu. Hawaii is among the country’s most diverse states, owing to its central location in the Pacific and over two centuries of migration.
Unique melting pot
As one of only six majority-minority states, it has the nation’s only Asian American plurality, its largest Buddhist community, and the largest proportion of multiracial people.
Settled by Polynesians some time between 1000 and 1200 CE, Hawaii was home to numerous independent chiefdoms. In 1778, British explorer James Cook was the first known non-Polynesian to arrive at the archipelago; early British influence is reflected in the state flag, which bears a Union Jack. An influx of European and American explorers, traders, and whalers arrived shortly thereafter, introducing diseases that decimated the once isolated indigenous community.
Hawaii became a unified, internationally recognized kingdom in 1810, remaining independent until Western businessmen overthrew the monarchy in 1893; this led to annexation by the U.S. in 1898. As a strategically valuable U.S. territory, Hawaii was attacked by Japan on December 7, 1941, which brought it global and historical significance, and contributed to America’s decisive entry into World War II.
Hawaii is the most recent state to join the union, on August 21, 1959. In 1993, the U.S. government formally apologized for its role in the overthrow of Hawaii’s government, which spurred the Hawaiian sovereignty movement. Historically dominated by a plantation economy, Hawaii remains a major agricultural exporter due to its fertile soil and uniquely tropical climate in the U.S. Its economy has gradually diversified since the mid-20th century, with tourism and military defense becoming the two largest sectors.
The state attracts tourists, surfers, and scientists from around the world with its diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, active volcanoes, and clear skies on the Big Island. Hawaii hosts the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the world’s largest naval command, as well as 75,000 employees of the Defense Department. Although its relative isolation results in one of the nation’s highest costs of living, Hawaii is the third-wealthiest state.
The land area of the state of Hawaii consists of the tops of a chain of emerged volcanic mountains that form 8 major islands and 124 islets, stretching in a 1,500-mile (2,400-km) crescent from Kure Island in the west to the island of Hawaii in the east. The eight major islands at the eastern end of the chain are, from west to east , Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui, and Hawaii.
Each volcanic mountain formed during the transit of the Pacific Plate across a hotspot (a region of Earth’s upper mantle that upwells to melt through the crust) located beneath the central Pacific Ocean. And erupting magma added mass to the crust above.
70 million years ago
The origin of Hawaii’s islands, islets, and seamounts can be traced to at least 70 million years ago, near the end of the Cretaceous Period (145 million to 66 million years ago). Volcanic activity has become dormant, with the exception of the emergent volcanoes of Mauna Loa, Kilauea, and the Lō‘ihi Seamount. Mauna Loa and Kilauea are located on the easternmost and largest island, Hawaii (often referred to as the “Big Island”), where spectacular eruptions and lava flows take place from time to time.
The Lō‘ihi Seamount, a growing volcano that could break the surface of the ocean tens of thousands of years from the present, is located 18.6 miles (30 km) southeast of the island of Hawaii. The highest Hawaiian mountains are Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, both on the island of Hawaii, reaching 13,796 feet (4,205 metres) and 13,678 feet (4,169 metres) above sea level, respectively.
Young and old areas
There has been little erosion in the geologically young areas, where the terrain is domelike or scattered with hardened lava. Their aspects thus include sharp and craggy silhouettes; abrupt, vertically grooved cliffs pocked with caves; deep valleys; collapsed craters (calderas); and coastal plains.
The powerful Pacific surf, churning and crashing against the fringing coral shelves. And the lava shorelines, has carried minute shells onto the shore and reduced coral and large shells to sand, creating the state’s famous expanses of beach.
Heavy rainfall in mountainous areas produces an extremely voluminous runoff, which is responsible for the erosion that forms the numerous grooves, ridges. And V-shaped valleys characteristic of the older volcanic islands such as Kauai and Oahu.
Which US state is entirely an archipelago?
Is Hawaii the most remote archipelago?
Did you know that Hawaii is the most remote island chain in the world? In fact, the Hawaiian archipelago is located in the Central Pacific Ocean, 2,390 miles (3,850 km) from California and 3,850 miles (6,195 km) from Japan. Hawaii is the furthest from any landmass in the world.
Where is Hawaii located in the United States?
Location map of Hawaii in the US. The US state of Hawaii is an island group located in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, about 4,400 km (2,800 mi) south of Alaska, and 4,200 km (2,600 mi) north of Tahiti (French Polynesia).
Which is the only state not located in North America?
“Hawaii is the only state of the United States that is not geographically located in North America, grows coffee. It is completely surrounded by water, is entirely an archipelago, has royal palaces. And it does not have a straight line in its state boundary.”
Which is the only island state in the Pacific Ocean?
The uniqueness of the state you can easily identify on the given map of Hawaii state US i.e. Hawaii is the only state that entirely located in the Pacific Ocean. Or in other words, it is only island state of the US. Eight main islands—Hawaii, Kahoolawe, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai, and Niihau.
What are the names of the islands in Hawaii?
On he given Hawaii map, you can identify some of the major Hawaiian Islands including Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lānai, Kahoolawe, Maui, and Hawaii. However, the last one i.e. Hawaii is by far the largest and more often known as “The Big Island” with the purpose to avoid confusion with the state as a whole.
Because the topography of Hawaii is generally abruptly descending or sloping, there are few surfaces that collect water. Excess rainfall seeps through porous mountain areas to gather in subterranean chambers. And layers retained by less-permeable lava and ash beds.
Many streams in Hawaii are intermittent, depending on the volume of rainfall. The island of Kauai has numerous perennial streams, the largest of which is the Wailua River.
As a result of the weathering of basaltic lava and volcanic ash, Hawaii is rich in arable soils. Given local conditions, with variations in rainfall and organic matter, the islands contain a wide variety of soils. Of these the most significant are the andisols and mollisols that are the product of lava flows that occurred more than 3,000 years ago on the islands of Maui and Hawaii and that are agriculturally productive when irrigated. Also suitable for agriculture are the oxisols of Oahu and Kauai, both of which are red from iron oxidation.
Hawaiʻi is one of two states that were widely recognized independent nations prior to joining the United States. The Kingdom of Hawaiʻi was sovereign from 1810 until 1893. When the monarchy was overthrown by resident American and European capitalists and landholders. Hawaiʻi was an independent republic from 1894 until August 12, 1898. When it officially became a territory of the United States.
The Hawaiian archipelago is 2,000 mi (3,200 km) southwest of the contiguous United States. Hawaii is the southernmost U.S. state and the second westernmost after Alaska. Hawaii, like Alaska, does not border any other U.S. state. It is the only U.S. state that is not geographically located in North America. The only state completely surrounded by water and that is entirely an archipelago. And the only state in which coffee is commercially cultivable.
In addition to the eight main islands, the state has many smaller islands and islets. Kaʻula is a small island near Niʻihau. The Northwest Hawaiian Islands is a group of nine small, older islands to the northwest of Kauaʻi that extend from Nihoa to Kure Atoll. These are remnants of once much larger volcanic mountains. Across the archipelago are around 130 small rocks and islets, such as Molokini, which are either volcanic, marine sedimentary or erosional in origin.
Hawaiʻi’s tallest mountain Mauna Kea is 13,796 ft (4,205 m) above mean sea level. It is taller than Mount Everest if measured from the base of the mountain, which lies on the floor of the Pacific Ocean and rises about 33,500 feet (10,200 m).
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