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Coastline of Hawaii


Hawaiian islands
Hawaiian islands

Hawaii’s total coastline is 1,207 km (750 mi) long. When all the bays and inlets are included, its shoreline is 1,693 km (1,052 mi) long. The coasts of the main islands are generally rocky, with a number of sheer cliffs that tower above the sea. Between bold headlands, which are often the remnants of old volcanoes, lie beaches of coral sands. However, a number of beaches, most of them on the island of Hawaii, are covered by jet-black sand worn from black lava flows.

Coral reefs lie just offshore of many beaches, and great rolling breakers are formed where the ocean thunders over the reefs. The breakers provide excellent surfing conditions in many places, but there is often a dangerous undertow that threatens the unwary and unskilled surfer.

Rivers


The greatest threat from the sea comes from tsunamis, or giant sea waves. The tsunamis, mistakenly called tidal waves, are set in motion by strong earthquakes and submarine landslides in the region surrounding the Pacific Ocean. Waves as high as 9 m (30 ft) may burst over low-lying coastal areas and can cause much damage. Tsunamis do not occur frequently in Hawaii. The islands of Hawaii have a number of short streams and a few small ponds, but there are no large lakes. Among the longest rivers, none of which is more than 50 km (30 mi) long, are the Wailua and Waimea rivers, on Kauai, the Wailuku River, on Hawaii, and Kaukonahua Stream, on Oahu. Koloa Reservoir, a body of water that covers 171 hectares (422 acres) on Kauai, is the largest inland lake. Waterfalls abound on most of the main islands. Lacking large lakes or rivers, the main islands depend on underground reservoirs for their water supply. Much of the rainfall in the islands sinks through the porous surface layers of lava, cinder, and ash until it comes to rest upon more dense saltwater that has permeated from the surrounding ocean. "Hawaii" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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