There are many wondrous, enigmatic and fascinating attractions on the Big Island of Hawaii, some better known than others, many out of the way and generally off the beaten track. Tour Guide Hawaii has produced an encyclopedic collection of the most up-to-date information, presented as short GPS-cued videos, in an app downloadable to iPhone and iPod Touch that covers the entire Big Island, highlighting the popular and the uncrowded, the famous and the secluded, the adventurous and the relaxing.
Muliwai a Pele
In Hawaiian, Muliwai a Pele means “River of Pele”. The platform overlooks the remains of a lava channel that flowed full with a river of lava during the Mauna Ulu eruptions, delivering millions of gallons of molten fluid down the pali.
When trenches such as these become roofed over, they are called “lava tubes” and the cooled remains are preserved as caves, such as Nahuku, or Thurston Lava Cave up on Crater Rim Drive. When the vent supplying the lava stops producing, these structures drain empty and cool.
Large lava cascades such as these may flow at a velocity of several to tens of miles per hour, however, in Hawai’i, most flows can easily be outdistanced on foot. Note the several large boulders near the observation platform that were dragged along by the flow.
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All media copyright 2010 by Donald B. MacGowan. All rights reserved.