Southeast Oahu 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.

The Virtually Hawaii Team are having great fun producing the images on this page. To show you what the work is like, here we see (from left to right) Jonathan Gradie (President of TerraSystems, Inc.) at his airborne computer console, Dick Lunn (Director of TerraSystems, Inc.) giving a helping hand to the TerraSystem plane (fondly called "Thunder Chicken"!), and Pete Mouginis-Mark (Principal Investigator for this project) directing data acquisitions on the NASA aircraft.

[565x380 JPEG]

[555x370 JPEG]

[570x380 JPEG]

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!

[652x375 JPEG]

Aerial location number 1: The Reef Runway. This is a sight that many of the 5 million visitors to Hawaii see. The Honolulu International Airport has a runway almost 2 km long, and is large enough to serve as one of the emergency landing sites for NASA's Space Shuttle! Notice that the runway is built on top of the coral reef, which means that most of the aircraft approach and leave the airport over the water, making it far quieter for people on the ground.

[576x380 JPEG]

Aerial location number 2: A large portion of Honolulu Harbor can be seen in this view. Here we can see the City of Honolulu with the Koolau Range in the background. The low points in the peaks have been exploited for the two major roads that cross to the other side of Oahu. The gap on the right is the route of the Pali Highway, and to its left is the route of the Likelike Highway.

[570x358 JPEG]

Aerial location number 3: Heading East after taking off from Honolulu Airport one gets a great view of the Waikiki Beach area. Here we can see some of the best hotels in Oahu, and the fabulous surf coming towards the shore.

[484x350 JPEG]

Aerial location number 4.1: This is an example of the type of images collected by TerraSystems, Inc. that we will be adding to Virtually Hawaii. Here we see Hanauma Bay, which is also the 3rd stop on the accompanying ground tour. This bay is the flooded central crater of a small volcano that formed about 300,000 years ago.

[559x365 JPEG]

Aerial location number 4.2: This is an oblique air photograph that gives a good view of the same area that we captured with the TerraSystems camera. In this oblique view, we're looking west into Hanauma Bay, and get good perspective of both the inner portion of the Bay and the ash layers that make up the sides of the old volcanic crater. In the background is part of the town of Hawaii Kai.

[660x365 JPEG]

Aerial location number 5.1: This is a view looking across Kaneohe Bay, with the town of Kaneohe in the middle distance and the Koolau Range in the background.

[641x330 JPEG]

Aerial location number 5.2: Flying along the coastline of Kailua Bay one can get some wonderful views of the coral reef, and some of the excellent beaches that are wonderful for relaxing and for wind surfing! In these air photographs we can see two views of the town of Kailua. Picture 5.2 is taken from off-shore looking inland, and ...

[581x350 JPEG]

Aerial location number 5.3 is from south of Kailua looking north towards Kaneohe Marine Base in the distance.

[629x320 JPEG]

Aerial location number 5.4: This is a picture of Coconut Island, which is home to some of the University of Hawaii's marine research groups.

[638x320 JPEG]

Aerial location number 5.5: This picture shows the two small Mokulua Islands that lie just off of the town of Lanikai. This area is great for swimming and wind surfing, and a favorite weekend activity of the locals is to sail (or swim!) the 1.5 km to "The Mokes" as they're fondly called.

[623x380 JPEG]

Aerial location number 6: The Koolau Range on the northeast ("Windward") side of Oahu provides some spectacular views. Here we can see the steep cliffs that rise over 300 meters from the coastal plain (see also Stop #8 of the Ground Tour). Particularly prominent are the numerous gullies that become waterfalls during heavy rain. In the foreground is part of the new H-3 Highway, that eventually will help commuters travel to Honolulu more easily.

You have now completed the aerial tour around Southeast Oahu. 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 Southeast Oahu Virtual Field Trip Page and clicking on the corresponding white number.

You might also like to take a little quiz to test what you know about Southeast Oahu!

Return to Southeast Oahu Virtual Field Trip

Authors: Peter Mouginis-Mark & Lori Glaze
Copyright by P. Mouginis-Mark
Curator: Lori Glaze
Page Design: Laurence Laforga
Copyright © 1996
All Rights Reserved.