Talk:Hawaiian Islands

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Hurricane Season[edit]


Spelling Edit[edit]

"Māui" in the Main Hawaiian Islands table should be spelling "Maui" [i.e. without the macron; the macron only applies to the Hawaiian god the island was named after]. But I don't know how to edit tables. Could someone please make the correction? Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Heszy (talkcontribs) 22:05, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Done. Mahalo. --Ali'i 13:44, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

A Helpful Table to Add[edit]

A helpful table to add to this article would be one of the land areas (in square miles and square kilometers) of the major islands, from the largest to the smallest. (talk) 19:01, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Also, the tally of the island areas do not add up to the total square miles given in the article. (talk) 15:45, 28 March 2017 (UTC)


Does anyone know how many of the islands are actually inhabited? RickK 19:04, 2 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Yes I do. What is the question? Marshman 02:59, 3 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Could you include that information in the article? RickK 04:36, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)
I essentially put the information in the list of islands. But if you think I need to make ity clearer, let me know. Marshman 08:09, 4 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Maybe I'm dense, but nothing in the article conveys that information to me. Why are you being so difficult? RickK 01:07, 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)
Smile when you say that partner 8^). Fortunately for you, I'm a Rick (actually Ric) also. But you are partly correct. I had failed to include a line to indicate that all islands in the first or upper list are inhabited (lower list states all listed are uninhabited). Two (one in each list) are exceptions in that they have facilities for habitation, but no permanent residents.Marshman 01:30, 5 Aug 2003 (UTC)

The link for "Gardner" is misleading (i.e. to nowhere)

It is. I will try and fix shortly. - Marshman 17:53, 8 Mar 2004 (UTC)

Maybe I'm dense as well. I see that only 7 of the 8 "islands in the first or upper list are inhabited". (Kaho`olawe, in Māui county, appears to be uninhabited - was that the first "exception" you referred to?) What's more, while O`ahu shows a population of 876,151 for the 2000 census, Wikipedia's listed population for Honolulu county is 876,156 (which matches the 2000 census figure as well and are necessary to get the state census total of 1,211,537). Where did the other 5 people come from? I know Honolulu county extends for about 1,600 miles (2,600 km), so perhaps Midway Island? Is that the other "exception"? Sorry, but I'd like to see this mystery resolved before the upcoming 2010 census. 8-) Glenn L (talk) 09:15, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Never mind. I found it. They live on Necker Island. THAT was the exception. Silly me. 8-) Glenn L (talk) 09:50, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Total number of Islands[edit]

When I was working in Hawaii a long time ago, I was administering a database of all islands and atolls. The database contained 132 total. The article claims there are 19 total. Because those numbers are practically a power of 10 off, I was wondering what source could be used to find the proper number of islands. Also, is it a range based on opinion. I can see one guy claiming, "That's an island." Then another guy says, "Nope, that's just a rock." Kainaw 20:59, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Answering my question... I continued further down the article and saw the entry about 137 islands. Of course, it came from the University, which is where the database of islands I was working on was located. Kainaw 21:01, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Probably from the state. The university should know better. The number of islands is infinite if you are going to start counting every "offshore" rock, which is what 137 is a good ways towards. Any such "listing" needs first a good set of definitions to have meaning. Maybe the data base did, but then

using the raw numbers is "out of context" - Marshman 03:32, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

is there a definition of the term island or islet that we can determine the minimum requirements to be called one of these things? I'm thinking of the stereotypical person stranded on a one-palm tree desert island that is only big enough to contain him and the tree. Would a rock count? would there need to be sand? Valley2city 17:41, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Length of the Island Chain[edit]

This needs to be fact checked, the only source i have for this being a nautical mile is that 1500*1.8 =~ 2700, but 1500*1.6 !=~ 2700, furthermore, the image I inserted is broken for unknown reasons.

According to Macdonald, Abbott, and Peterson (1983) the length of the archipelago is 2400 km, or 1500 miles (not nautical miles). - Marshman 18:55, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Plate moves how slowly?[edit]

My back of the envelope calculation shows about 50 miles/million-years: from Midway (28mya) to Kauai (5mya) at 1300 miles and from Kauai to Oahu (3mya) at about 100 miles. Anybody have a more accurate number? Jolomo

I suppose any number of papers will have estimates of what you are looking for; I'm not a geologist. However, I found this right away on the web at[1]:
"The NUVEL-IA predicted rate of motion of the Pacific plate relative to a fixed North American plate [-] 52 mm/yr".."
Not quite the motion over the hotspot (which may not be fixed), but works out to 52 km (32 miles) per million years, certainly not a bad fit to your estimate. - Marshman 23:34, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Information inappropriate[edit]

Try and put information in appropriate articles. The administration of Palmyra has nothing to do with the geography of the Hawaiian Islands. It is a fact already discussed elsewhere where appropriate. - Marshman 02:18, 14 January 2006 (UTC)


This article was placed in the Category:Human geography without explanation. Why this set of islands and not every other island in the world, say Tahiti or Greenland? The notion of human geography doesn't seem to be mentioned in the text of the article... -- Malepheasant 11:15, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument[edit]

Will information about this be added? Northwestern Hawaiian Islands National Monument Badagnani 12:16, 23 June 2006 (UTC)


Does anyone know what created the volcano hotspot that created the hawaiian islands? Could it have been a comet or any other similar event? Thanks. AstroHurricane001(Talk+Contribs+Ubx) 14:28, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

The origin of hotspots is uncertain, but impacts are among the ideas. I'd say the idea of inhomogeneities within the mantle has a greater following, but this is not my specialty. Cheers Geologyguy 15:22, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Karakakooa Bay[edit]

I was editing an article on the ship Tonquin and discovered they had put in at the above bay. But I can't find it anywhere, and I'm guessing the spelling is wrong anyway. Anybody know what bay this might be? Thanks. Aboutmovies 01:48, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Likely to be Kealakekua Bay, the same bay Cook visited. Arjuna 08:12, 29 May 2007 (UTC)


The 17km stated by the USGSseem to result from a wrong addition. The mountain measures about 9km from sea-floor to summit, 4km above an 5km below sea-level. AFAIK one cannot add the 8km depression, since the whole mountain itself is depressed with the tectonic plate. --mmg 10:47, 23 February 2007 (UTC)


The NASA photograph is horrible. It just looks like a big black rectangle. I really think we should get rid of it. It's tacky. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:54, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I added a note to click on the image for a larger view. If that is OK, then leave it. Otherwise, I'm not emotionally attached to the image in any way. -- kainaw 22:21, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

45° bend in island chain[edit]

Hawaii hotspot.jpg

Anyone know why the island chain turns northwards about half way along, if you follow east to west? — PhilHibbs | talk 16:15, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

It's understood to have been a result of a major shift in the direction of the Pacific plate relative to the Asian and N. American plates, and in which the Hawaiian 'hotspot' remained stationary. See Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain for details. Aloha, Arjuna (talk) 08:28, 21 August 2008 (UTC)

Spelling Edit[edit]

"Māui" in the Main Hawaiian Islands table should be spelling "Maui" [i.e. without the macron; the macron only applies to the Hawaiian god the island was named after]. But I don't know how to edit tables. Could someone please make the correction? Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Heszy (talkcontribs) 22:05, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Done. Mahalo. --Ali'i 13:44, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Disputed section[edit]

See here.

"Mokupâpapa" is "Flat [pâpapa] Islet [moku, cf. motu ]", FWIW.

"Kânemiloha'i" is not clear to me; as per to Pukui & Elbert pocket dict., "kâne" denotes "male" in all flavours (as noun, adjective, and up to and and including Tane), "milo-ha'i" could mean "some other place, with Portia Trees" or "some other place with waves breaking on reef" or "fractured (is)land(s)/islets" or "swirling (nearshore) waters" or whatnot. Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 01:53, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

A search in Google Books finds sources for both names referring to both atolls - the U.S. Board on Geographic Names only has "Moku Papapa" as a name for Kure Atoll. I've changed this article for consistency with the other articles as those edits haven't been reverted or disputed. Peter E. James (talk) 14:54, 19 January 2011 (UTC) Maybe a note could be added explaining that these names may be used differently. Peter E. James (talk) 14:56, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Sandwich Islands[edit]

Sandwich Islands redirects to here. On the one hand, I think that's understandable as that was the former name of the Hawaiian Islands. But on the other hand, it seems a bit odd. Shouldn't there be a separate article? Explaining how, when, why and for how long the islands were called the Sandwich Islands? Setwisohi (talk) 10:07, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

From here it looks like Sandwich Islands is now a disambig page that points to this article and others. At one time it was a separate short stub, but in the conversion it looks like the info in it about who called it that, why and when got lost. It should probably be added back here, if someone can find a relable source. The info was:
The Sandwich Islands was the name given to the Hawaiian Islands by Captain James Cook on his discovery of the islands on January 18, 1778. The name was made in honor of one of his sponsors, John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, who was at the time the First Lord of the Admiralty and Cook's superior officer. During the late 19th century, the name fell into disuse, replaced by Hawaii.
I think the disambig page makes sense. One reason is that several articles on old Hawaiian history copy and paste from old texts (expired copyright) and just link to Sandwich Islands when they should link here or to Hawaii. W Nowicki (talk) 15:14, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

I did as proposed, just moved the mention of the Earl both here and in the Hawaii article (with source).

Climate section needs sources[edit]

There is a fair amount of text in the climate sections with no sources. There was one wb link to a sailing video that did not seem relevant nor encylopedic quality. A quick dig into history could not find who added all of the text. It seems reasonable to talk about here, but needs someone to add citations and make sure it still matches theories, etc. Also should be put a "main" pointer from the climate section of the state article here? Now it just points to the list of tornadoes. It seems Climate of Hawaii goes to this section in this article. W Nowicki (talk) 03:15, 10 December 2009 (UTC)

I believe I have a list of primary sources that point to this data, but I need to clear my desk. Give me a day or so. :) Viriditas (talk) 03:37, 10 December 2009 (UTC)
 Done Added a source. --Kubanczyk (talk) 13:00, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Most isolated ?[edit]

This article says that Hawaii is the most isolated archipelago on earth, at 1860 miles from the nearest continent, but the article about the Marquesas Islands says these other islands are 3000 miles away from the nearest continent. So I wonder which is right. In doubt, should the sentence in the Hawaiian Islands be removed, or more precise? DomiAllStates (talk) 00:32, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

The reference for that claim states the distance to the nearest continent, but makes absolutely no claim about remoteness (this book is on Google Books here). The actual quote is: Across the face of the central Pacific Ocean, 3,000 km from the nearest continent and 800 km from any other land, lies the row of islands known as the Hawaiian Archipelago." Then, it goes on about volcanoes for the rest of the book. -- kainaw 15:46, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

File:Hawaje-NoRedLine.jpg to appear as POTD soon[edit]

Hello! This is a note to let the editors of this article know that File:Hawaje-NoRedLine.jpg will be appearing as picture of the day on August 21, 2011. You can view and edit the POTD blurb at Template:POTD/2011-08-21. If this article needs any attention or maintenance, it would be preferable if that could be done before its appearance on the Main Page so Wikipedia doesn't look bad. :) Thanks! howcheng {chat} 07:47, 20 August 2011 (UTC)

Hawaiian Islands from space
This true-color satellite view of the Hawaiian Islands shows that most of the vegetation on the islands grows on the northeast sides which face the trade winds. The silver glow around the calmer southwest sides is the result of the shelter provided from the islands. Hawaii's mountains, the ocean current, and water temperature combine to create a "wind wake" that extends for 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi) to the southwest—ten times longer than any other.Photo: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS team at NASA

Distant future[edit]

The Big Island is losing height by about 1 foot every 100 years. By 80 million years from now, the Big Island will be the last of the current Hawaiian Islands to sink beneath the surface of the ocean. • 21:38, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Hawaiian Islands/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Needs conversion into main overview as an article series, with sections on each main topic. Formatting needed as well. —Viriditas

Last edited at 08:00, 29 May 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 17:16, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

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