HAWAII NATURE NOTES
America's greatest volcanic wonderland was set apart by Congress in 1916 as HAWAII NATIONAL PARK. Not only are KILAUEA and MAUNA LOA among the largest of the world's volcanic mountains, but through the past century they have been among the most active. Furthermore, they are accessible and are safe to visit even during eruptions. HALEAKALA is one of the most colorful volcanoes in the world. In most volcanic regions people flee in terror from an eruption. Most active volcanoes erupt violently and can be watched in safety only from a distance. Hawaii is perhaps the only place in the world where spectators rush toward the scene of eruption instead of away from it. A few other volcanoes of similarly docile nature are locked among steaming jungles or icy wastelands; but eruptions of KILAUEA and lava flows on the lower slopes of MAUNA LOA can be reached easily and pleasantly by travel over modern highways and through countryside of outstanding beauty and comfortable climate.
With quicker and easier travel between Hawaii and the mainland of the United States, every year a greater number of people visit Hawaii's volcanoes, to view the results of nature's fiery cataclysms, or if they are very fortunate, to gaze in awe at great fountains, lakes, and rivers of incandescent molten lava. Volcanoes are phenomena quite outside the previous experience of many visitors to HAWAII NATIONAL PARK. Most know little about them, and understand only a small part of what they see unless it is explained to them. It is the aim of this booklet to present to the visitor a brief explanation of Hawaiian volcanic activity and the land forms to which it gives rise, in the belief that as understanding of what he sees will add greatly to his pleasure in seeing. Those seeking more detailed and technical information are referred to the sources listed in the bibliography at the end of the book.
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