Kahoolawe is a single shield volcano located to the southwest of Haleakala on Maui. As a result of its location in the "rain shadow" of the larger volcano, Kahoolawe is very dry, and shows none of the tropical vegetation that is typical of other Hawaiian islands. Until quite recently, Kahoolawe was used as a military test range, but now it has been given back to the State of Hawaii, which is in the process of cleaning up the island.
The southwestern tip of Kahoolawe island shows part of the dome-shaped shield volcano that reaches an altitude of about 450 meters. At top center is Waikahului Bay. Notice that despite the very arid conditions today, there are many stream valleys carved into the flanks of the volcano, indicating that perhaps the climate was wetter at some stage in the past.
Copyright by P. Mouginis-Mark