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Na Pali Coast Magazine | May 27, 2017

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Kauai's Geology: Past and Present - Na Pali Coast Magazine

Kauai’s Geology: Past and Present

Since the discovery of Kaua’i in 1778 by Captain Cook, the island’s lush valleys, high cliffs and soft, sandy beaches have been distinguishing elements in today’s fascination with the tropical island.  When thinking about the “Garden Island,” there is little else that comes to mind.  There is however a great past hiding within lava dikes and valleys.

While we think of Kaua’i as a paradise, its geology does not emulate a carefree or simple existence.  Kauai’s past is complex, exciting, dangerous, and as unstable as its future. 

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About 5 million years ago there was a volcanic eruption along the Hawaii-Emperor Volcanic chain.  The eruption sparked the beginning of Kauai and ultimately, the beginning of the Hawaiian Islands.  Through the volcanic eruptions, the underwater mountain began to rise above the surface.  Kauai went through three stages of development: shield, post-shield, and rejuvenation.  Read more…

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