Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Green Sand Beach: Hawaii Photos -- Post 2

One day during our visit to Hawaii, a group of us walked in three miles to the green sand beach.  Papakōlea Beach is located near South Point on the island of Hawaii.

One of only four green sand beaches in the world, the others being Talofofo Beach, Guam, Punta Cormorant on Floreana Island in the Galapagos Islands, and Hornindalsvatnet, Norway. It gets its distinctive coloring from the mineral olivine, found in the enclosing cinder cone.  Papakōlea Beach is located in a bay half circled by Puʻu Mahana, a cinder cone formed over 49,000 years ago and associated with the southwest rift of Mauna Loa. Since its last eruption, the cinder cone has partially collapsed and been eroded by the ocean.

A specimen of basalt with the olive crystals is shown below.

Here are some photos of the hike in.

Finally we could see the detail of the eroded volcano cone.

The view of the bay was exciting!  There is a rugged trail down the cone.

Layers of lava that accumulated from different flows....

Green sand....

The USB microscope photo below shows the olivine crystals mixed with basaltic sand.

Check out the size of the avocado below that we shared for part of our lunch!

We hung out and went swimming most of the afternoon.

Then we had to hike out of the cone and back to our car....


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