Simple map of the Hawaiian Islands.

Earth Science of Hawaiʻi

The place where you are right now has a rich geological history that is recorded by the rocks beneath you and the fossils that they may contain. The rocks and fossils reveal the movements of continents and the evolution of new forms of life. This history helps to explain why the Earth looks like it does today. It also explains things like the distributions of natural resources, from rare minerals to rich soils for agriculture. Studying Earth's ancient climate also helps us to make sense of how the climate is changing today and how it will affect us where we live.

The goal of this part of the [email protected] project is to explain the Earth science of Hawai'i.

Contents


Geologic History
Climate
Earth Hazards
Rocks
Fossils

Topography
Energy
Mineral Resources

Resources

Lists of supplemental and teaching resources for the Earth science of Hawai'i, sorted by topic.


Resources

Credits

Most of the [email protected] content in the Here on Earth: Hawai'i section is derived from The Teacher-Friendly Guide to the Geology of the Western USedited by Mark D. Lucas, Robert M. Ross, and Andrielle N. Swaby (published in 2014 by the Paleontological Research Institution; currently out of print). The citation for the original book is:

  • Lucas, M. D., R. M. Ross, and A. N. Swaby (eds.). 2014. The Teacher-Friendly Guide to the Earth Science of the Western US. Paleontological Research Institution, Ithaca, New York, 424 pp.

The book was adapted for the web by Elizabeth J. Hermsen and Jonathan R. Hendricks in 2022. Changes include formatting and revisions to the text and images.

Authors for the original chapters adapted for the Hawaii section of Here on Earth are as follows. Some of the content has been spread over multiple pages on this website, so links are not provided below:

  • Chapter 1. Geologic history of the Western US: Frank D. Granshaw, Alexandra Moore, and Gary Lewis.
  • Chapter 2. Rocks of the Western US: Wendy E. Van Norden, Alexandra Moore, and Gary Lewis.
  • Chapter 3. Fossils of the Western US: Brendan M. Anderson, Alexandra Moore, Gary Lewis, and Warren D. Allmon.
  • Chapter 4. Topography of the Western US: Judith T. Parrish, Alexandra Moore, Louis A. Derry, and Gary Lewis.
  • Chapter 5. Mineral Resources of the Western US: David Gillam, Alexandra Moore, and Gary Lewis.
  • Chapter 6. Glaciers in the Western US: Frank D. Granshaw.
  • Chapter 7. Energy in the Western US: Carlyn S. Buckler and Gary Lewis.
  • Chapter 8. Soils of the Western US: Luke McCann, Alexandra Moore, Alex F. Wall, Gary Lewis, and Judith T. Parrish.
  • Chapter 9. Climate of the Western US: Ingrid H. H. Zabel, Judith T. Parrish, Alexandra Moore, and Gary Lewis.
  • Chapter 10. Earth Hazards of the Western US: Wendy E. Van Norden, Alexandra Moore, and Gary Lewis.