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How Does Geology Affect Human Life

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Geology is the study of the earth, the materials it consists of, the configuration of those materials, and the processes acting on them. It includes the living and nonliving organisms which have inhabited the planet. The study of how earth’s materials, species, processes, and structures have evolved is an integral part of geology. Geology in Hawaii imposes far more on humans than most people understand or accept. Some areas are ideal for agriculture, while others aren’t, and some places have extensive resources and others. Individuals also understand the mountains in Hawaii make it impossible to drive unless the traveler is in a vehicle on an interstate highway.

How Does Geology Affect Human Life

A region’s geology regulates the availability of vital raw materials such as crucial metallurgical ore minerals, clay for pottery, building stone (ornamentation and construction), decorative arts gemstones, and gold, as well as glass-making sand. Such materials are generally correlated with new technology and are constrained by quantity, accessibility, and consistency. In Hawaii, geological knowledge is characterized by the functional extent of a rock or mineral resource and helps create models that can predict its viability.

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Earthquakes happen in Hawaii, often without any apparent warning or alert. These geohazards may have significant impacts on the surface of humans and the earth. Localized, small earthquakes can cause no visible damage and may not be felt by people living in the affected region. By comparison, massive earthquakes can cause damage across a wide area and be deemed a hundred miles away by individuals. Examples of geology on human cultures include how fertile soils grow from rocks; how these soils can become contaminated by human activity; how soils and rocks travel down the slope to kill roads, colonial buildings and houses; sources of supplies of material and surface water, as well as causes of their pollution; why floods occur and how human activities impact flooding.

Natural Catastrophes

Hawaii is a tropical paradise, but the islands are vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricanes, debris flows, earthquakes, tsunamis, and floods. Some parts in each of the Hawaii Islands are vulnerable to flash flooding when there is heavy rain. Heavy rain can turn a calm, tiny river into a cascading one that sweeps everything that flows along its path. Every few years, even lives are lost in the flash floods, most people have swept away in their cars or hikers. Heavy rain can arrive unexpectedly and can be hard to predict. Hawaiian flash floods are more frequent than any other natural disaster, such as hurricanes and tsunamis. It is not long ago that severe and extreme flash floods struck the island. Manoa Valley on Oahu was hit by flash floods in October 2004 and flooded the University of Hawaii’s ground floor at Manoa Hamilton library completely. Besides damaging parts of the library, the flood swept away at least 60 homes and caused nearly $ 1 million in damage. In several areas in Hawaii, a six-week rainy season in March 2006 triggered flooding. Seven people had been killed when a dam burst on Kauai. The rain caused the septic tank system in Waikiki to spill over, resulting in a spill of manure that contaminated sections of the island’s southern shore for several days.

On 23 November 1982, two hurricanes (Inki and Iwa) left death and destruction in their path after passing through Hawaii. Hurricane Iwa reached the Kauai, Niihau, and Oahu Islands. The Iwa hurricane was the first since 1959 to strike the state of Hawaii. The Inki hurricane was the most powerful hurricane in recorded history to hit the state of Hawaii. Not only are the strong winds of a cyclone or hurricane very damaging, but a phenomenon that comes with it, known as a storm surge, causes significant coastal flooding.

There are several happening caused by volcanic action that can be destructive to property and life. These include ash falls, lava flows, and debris avalanches. Magma, which is rock molten that flows from the earth’s interior to the surface, is known as lava. The higher the content of silica of lava, the sticker, and the thicker it becomes. Low silica basalt lava frequently flows faster since it is more fluid. It can pour as quickly as ten to thirty miles per hour or stretch out and cover up enormous land sections up to a few miles wide. At Kilauea Volcano, such basalt lava flows erupted on Hawaii’s vast island between 1983 and 1993, destroying almost two hundred homes and covering the coast highway on the island’s southeastern shore. As the lava goes down the volcano, it buries and burns everything in its path.

Earthquakes in Hawaii are closely linked to the island’  sisland’s volcanoes. Even though the earthquakes are hardly noticeable, thousands of them occur every year under the Big Island of Hawaii. The Big Hawaii Island is the Hawaiian Islands youngest of them all and is still growing today. Here, flowing lava and flowing erupting volcanoes can be witnessed. The island’s active volcanoes are Mauna Loa, Kilauea, and Loihi. Small earthquakes frequently accompany magma and eruption movements within these volcanoes. These earthquakes, also known as volcanic earthquakes, originate in magma storage regions that magma flows as it moves and rises before the eruption.

Terrain

Hawaii is an open-air fanatic’s dream world. All of the eight main islands have virtually every geographic terrain and formation to be found on earth. There lacks an end to the possibilities one can get to discover the Hawaiian landscape. From the highland rainforests on Kauai to lava deserts on the Big Island awaits exploration. Molokai holds miles of perfect beaches and the world’s largest and tallest sea cliffs. There is a wide variety of marine, plant, and animal life found in the Island of Hawaii. The vegetation zones upon Hawaii include mixed open forest, rain forest, dryland forest, alpine and subalpine.

Mountains in Hawaii significantly influence every aspect of its climate and weather. The endless variety of ridges, valleys, brad slopes, and peaks places Hawaii in an environment that is different from the neighboring ocean and climate variety within the islands. The differences in climate would not exist if the islands were the same size and flat. The mountains deflect, accelerate, and obstruct the free flow of air. When moist warm air rises over windward slopes and coasts, rainfall and clouds are much more significant than the open sea.

Economy

The total population was of the state in 2005 was estimated to be 1,275,194 in comparison to 1,262,840 in 2004 July. In 2002-2003 the net change was 1.4%. According to the census in 2000, the total population of Hawaii was 1,211,537. In the same year, the density of people of the state was 195.8 per square meter. The United States has developed an economy of service, and several countries, including Hawaii, generate most of their income through service industries. Tourists’ expenses are of great importance. In terms of returns generation, Hawaii’s top five agricultural products are nursery products, cane for sugar, greenhouse, coffee, and macadamia nuts. Hawaii islands also have livestock products, which include beef cattle, hogs, and eggs. Hawaii’s most valuable crops are pineapples and sugarcane. The island produces large quantities of flowers, which are mostly for export. Beans, taro, lettuce, potatoes, and corn are vegetables grown for local use.

Manufacturers add value to the raw products by creating an item that is manufactured. For instance, the cotton cloth becomes more expensive than a cotton ball through processes of manufacturing. The leading manufacturing activities in Hawaii are food processing (canned pineapple and refined sugar). Also, refined petroleum, clay, clothing, glass products, printed materials contribute to the manufacturing sector. The service industry in Hawaii contributes to 90% of Hawaii’s gross product. Personal, community, business services such as hotels, restaurants, accounting, law, private health care, rental car agencies, and engineering firms make up the leading service industry in Hawaii. Government services are ranking second in the service sector to support the Air force, Army, Marine bases on Oahu. The third most crucial service area in Hawaii is real estate, insurance, and finance.

Water Supplies

The Hawaiian groundwater is unconfined because the upper boundary is the phreatic surface or water table. The groundwater is characterized by the complex relation of porosity to resistive in basaltic aquifers and basalts, making the Hawaiian aquifers pose problems. Groundwater in Hawaii passes volcanic rocks that are absorbent and porous to great depths. The freshwater is less dense than seawater and, hence, the freshwater floats on the seawater. In Hawaii, most of the drinking water comes from rivers and lakes. Water in Hawaii is pumped up from subversive aquifers or harvested from mountain streams. Freshwater is abundant in Hawaii; this is because the convergence winds upon the Islands forested mountains. In Hawaii, there was a fundamental reduction of water refuse to agricultural irrigation and large factories. The continuing effort to preserve and conserve potable water resources emphasizes using alternative sources of water for irrigation. Reclaimed water is considered a tremendous possible help for various non-potable applications such as industrial processes, construction, and irrigation. The topography of Hawaii islands does a vast job affecting the weather where synoptic level models are sometimes insignificant. This island is the most inhabited of the eight most essential islands that consist of Hawaii, and since it houses Honolulu, there is extensive data available on it. The Mauka and windward showers hit sections of the islands. This is caused by the Pacific High, which is the primary influence on the climate for 50-80 percent. It fuels the trade winds, which fade away moisture off the ocean as they head towards Hawaii.

When there are heavy rains, some areas of the Islands in Hawaii are vulnerable to flash floods. Heavy rain can turn a quiet, small river into a cascading one that sweeps everything on its way. Lives are also lost in the flash floods every few years; mostly, people have swept away in their cars or hikers. Heavy rain may come suddenly and can be challenging to forecast. Flash floods in Hawaii are much common than any other natural disaster, such as hurricanes and tsunamis. Not long ago, massive and severe flash floods hit the island, such as the disaster mentioned above at Manoa Valley on Oahu, in October 2004.

Work cited;
  • Case, S. (2011). Water for life; water is so basic, and so is ensuring its availability. Retrieved on 28th November 2011, from <http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/hawaii/explore/where-does-your-water-come-from-1.xm

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