Hawaii VolcanoesWritten by Gayle Olson
The Island of Hawaii is made up of five volcanoes. Each began to grow beneath sea and eventually joined to form a single island. The volcanoes grew from a hotspot beneath sea. The chain of volcanoes were created as Pacific Plate moved northwestward over hotspot. Kohala was first to emerge from sea followed by Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Kilauea, and Loihi. Activity has ceased at Kohala and now most activity has been occurring at Kilauea and Loihi.
Loihi is still beneath sea level about 20 miles off southeast flank of island. A scientific team has installed underwater cable to Loihi. On October 12, 1997, cable was laid and scientists discovered that Loihi was in full eruption. The communication cable provides a direct connection to Loihi. In past, instrument experiments had to be dropped off at seamount and later physically picked up by a submersible research vessel to recover data.
Fall Bird MigrationWritten by Gayle Olson
Fall is time of year when many birds are busy preparing for long journey to their winter homes. Migration is movement of birds and other animals from one home to another. Some birds will fly thousands of miles to reach their winter homes!
Birds begin journey to their winter homes before food supply in north runs out. Day length and temperature plays a part in triggering birds' internal seasonal clocks. Shorter and cooler days means that food supply is running out. When water in ponds and lakes begin to freeze over, waterfowl cannot get at food easily and it is time to fly south where it is warmer and open water and food can be found.
In fall birds begin to flock together getting ready for big trip south. This is time of year when you will see flocks of blackbirds feeding on berries or V-formation of flocks of geese in flight. It is an important time to build up strength and fuel up for dangerous voyage.