Source: Nature: "Violent Hawaii"
Major corporate support for the Nature collection was provided by Canon U.S.A. and SC Johnson. Additional support was provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the nation’s public television stations.
Off the southeastern coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, an undersea volcano is building a future Hawaiian island. Loihi, the youngest volcano of the Hawaiian chain, shares the Hawaiian hot spot with its larger siblings Mauna Loa and Kilauea. Loihi is expected to breach the ocean’s surface in some 100,000 years. In this video segment from Nature, learn about the beginnings of a new volcanic island.
Volcanoes form when magma from beneath the Earth’s crust breaks through the surface and erupts. As the erupting lava cools, new islands are created. Every several thousand years, a new island emerges from the sea. It is immediately exposed to winds and rain that erode its surface, but seeds and spores, blown by the wind, become embedded in the newly-formed soil. In a relatively short period of time, the barren rock surface is transformed into a lush tropical island. Today, lava flows from active volcanoes can provide information about underground magma flow, yielding information about potential future eruptions. In spite of scientific advances, however, there is not yet a method for predicting volcanic eruptions with complete accuracy.
Loihi will slowly rise from the ocean floor, finally breaking the surface thousands of years from now... to become the next Hawaiian island.
When it emerges from the sea, Loihi will still be barren and lifeless … like every new volcanic island.
Yet even in this severe moonscape of frozen lava… spores and seeds blown by the wind, manage to take hold.
Tiny trees push through cracks in the surface, reaching for the tropical sun.
Wind and water quickly break down the lava into soil. In just a hundred years, the bare flow can be transformed into a garden.
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