Maui From the Air

One part of "Virtually Hawaii" that our Team is just starting to work on is the collection of many high resolution air photographs, which will serve as a transition between the relatively low resolution satellite images and the high resolution ground photographs. These aircraft images will be collected by our business partner TerraSystems, Inc., of Kailua, Hawaii. In addition, we are also showing many of the photographs that we have taken from NASA aircraft during some of the radar and spectral measurements that were collected in 1985 and 1990.

We hope you enjoy this small selection of pictures from the air. Come back soon, because we hope to have a whole new section showcasing these images in the near future!

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Aerial location number 1: Although it is frequently capped by clouds, the interior of West Maui offers some spectacular views of deeply eroded valleys. This picture is taken from over the southwest coast, looking over West Maui. The town of Wailuku/Kahului can be seen at the far right.

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Aerial location number 2: At a place called Puu Koae, there are two large rock peaks that are made of a volcanic rock called trachyte. These rocks are more resistant than the surrounding lava flows, so the domes are now impressive steep-sided peaks! The horizontal banding in the dome at right in this view is due to ash layers within the dome. These same features can also be seen from the ground photo taken at Stop #6.

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Aerial location number 3: Wailuku/Kahului comprise the largest town on Maui, and is the place where most tourists land on the island. The fields just outside town are some of the many sugar cane fields that are at the lower elevations on the island.

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Aerial location number 4: This late-afternoon view of the upper SW Rift Zone on Haleakala volcano shows the telescopes that form "Science City" on the western edge of the volcanic crater. You can find another view of these telescopes at Stop #10.2, picture #2. Haleakala crater is at the top right of this image.

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Aerial location number 5: The small cinder cones and relatively young lava flows in the summit crater of Haleakala volcano on Maui can be easily seen in this view. Also visible along the northern rim (left hand side in this view) is the road that tourists can take to drive to the summit. This is a great way to see sunrise on the volcano, and one often gets spectacular views as the morning clouds move in and out of the crater!

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Aerial location number 6: The southern flank of Haleakala volcano is starting to be deeply eroded by river valleys. Compared to West Maui (Aerial location #1), this erosion may not appear to be too great, but if you look at the slopes of the Big island volcanoes (seen on our Image Navigator page), you can tell that there have not been many recent eruptions on Haleakala.

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Aerial location number 7: Looking across the channel that separates the Big Island from Maui (called the Alenuihaha Channel), one gets a fine impression of the gently sloping southwest flank of the volcano (seen at left in this image). Notice also that the summit of the volcano has been removed by erosion.

You have now completed the aerial tour around Maui. If you would like, you may begin the ground tour at the beginning, or visit a specific stop on the ground tour by returning to the Maui Virtual Field Trip page.

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Author: Peter Mouginis-Mark

Copyright by P. Mouginis-Mark

Curator:Lori Glaze