Thongchai Thailand

THE GEOLOGY OF HAWAII

Posted on: April 8, 2020

IMAGE#1: THE PACIFIC BASIN AND THE RING OF FIRE

 

IMAGE#2: THE HAWAIIAN RIDGE

 

IMAGE#3: THE HAWAIIAN HOTSPOT

 

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Some typos fixed 3:20pm 4/9/2020 Thai time with Thanks to Danny

THIS POST IS A SURVEY OF THE GEOLOGICAL FEATURES OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS IN THE CONTEXT OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE EMISSION REDUCTION PRIORITIES OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDERS. 

PRIMARY REFERENCE : Eruptions of Hawaiian Volcanoes. Past, Present, and, future”, Robert Tilling, Christina Heliker, Donald Swanson. U.S. Geological Survey  Product 117 [LINK] . ADDITIONAL REFERENCES CITED BELOW IN THE TEXT.

 

(1)  ORIGIN OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS:  We are atmospheric creatures so our view of the world is an atmospheric view and our view of the Hawaiian Islands are the small bits of it that are evident in that view as seen in the image below. Here we see seven tropical islands, one very large, one very small, and five other islands that offer a carefree tropical lifestyle for the few and a wonderful vacation destination for the many.

hawaii-map

(2)  A DEEPER VIEW OF THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS:  The view from the bottom of the ocean reveals that the seven islands we know and love are all we can see from the atmosphere of the 80 or more volcanoes in that region of the Pacific Ocean in the middle of the Ring of Fire known for its intensive geological activity that involves the transfer of heat and materials (including carbon), from the mantle to the crust. As shown in the left frame of the image below, the Big Island of the Hawaiian Islands is a mantle plume hotspot.

(3) ABOUT MANTLE PLUME HOTSPOTS: As described in a related post [LINK] , a mantle plume hotspot is a large area of magma that comes up from the mantle of the inner earth, goes up through layers of rock until obstructed when it spreads out into a mushroom shape over a widespread area. If it is under a sufficient pressure, the magma can break through to the atmosphere as a volcanic eruption. As shown in the image above, the Big Island of Hawaii is adjacent to a hotspot where magma is flowing up from the mantle although with little resistance so that there is no visible “eruption”. Free flowing magma shown above is often seen in the south end of the Big Island and the seas around it.

 

(4)  THE HAWAIIAN RIDGE:  The Hawaiian Islands are the tiny visible part of an immense submarine ridge called the Hawaiian Ridge. The visible islands are the tops of gigantic volcanic mountains formed by countless eruptions of fluid lava* over several million years; some more than 30,000 feet above the seafloor. These volcanic peaks rising above the ocean surface represent only the tiny, visible part of an immense submarine ridge. The Hawaiian Ridge Emperor Seamount Chain is composed of more than 80 large volcanoes. This range stretches across the Pacific Ocean floor from the Hawaiian Islands to the Aleutian Trench. The length of the Hawaiian Ridge segment alone, between the Island of Hawai‘i and Midway Island to the northwest, is about 1,600 miles. The amount of lava erupted to form this huge ridge, about 186,000 cubic miles, is more than enough to cover the State of California with a layer 1 mile thick.  (USGS [LINK] .

(5)  THE CARBON DIOXIDE ISSUE:  In the context of the AGW climate change as human caused, climate science points out correctly that the total amount of carbon dioxide from volcanic eruptions are a small fraction of human emissions.  Fossil fuel emissions are estimated to be about 30 gigatons per year of CO2 [LINK] . The comparison of these human emissions with volcanic eruption emissions of CO2 is demonstrated with graphics such as the one shown below. These graphics indicate a lopsided comparison where human emissions are 60 times that from volcanic eruptions. This comparison is based on eruptions of volcanoes above land.

However, more than 80% of the world’s volcanoes are submarine and found on the ocean floor and they account for more than 90% of the world’s volcanic activity. More to the point in terms of carbon emissions, is that the release of magmatic material from the mantle into the crust of the planet does not normally involve violent eruptions of any kind such that carbon emissions from the bottom of the ocean can create bubbles of carbon dioxide on the ocean surface and these emissions are not counted in the volcano accounting described by climate science. Seepage, hydrothermal vents, and mantle plumes, though not included in the land volcano account, are the major sources of carbon flow from the mantle to the crust. In this regard, it should also be mentioned that more than 98% of the planet’s carbon is in the mantle and core and less than 2% of it is found on the crust inclusive of the carbon life forms such as us and all our fossil fuel reserves such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas.  [LINK TO RELATED POST] .

bandicam 2020-04-09 07-48-43-684

 

bubbles2

bubbles-1

 

(6)  CHANGING ATMOSPHERIC COMPOSITION: THE CASE FOR CLIMATE ACTION:  A crucial argument for human cause of changes in atmospheric composition is that atmospheric composition is changing and it has been changing for more than a hundred years and these changes show a rising level of atmospheric CO2 concentration that has gone from less than 300 ppm to more than 400 ppm over a period of time that corresponds with the rise of the fossil fuel driven industrial economy of humans and of its rapid expansion. This correspondence provides the critical evidence of causation in climate science that the observed changes in atmospheric composition are caused by fossil fuel emissions and that therefore these changes can and must be moderated and halted by taking climate action in the form of reducing the use of fossil fuels until fossil fuel emissions are reduced from 30 gigatons per year of CO2 to zero.

 

(7) SPURIOUS CORRELATIONS IN TIME SERIES DATA: When working with time series of field data, care must be taken to avoid some well known statistical pitfalls in correlation and causation analysis. This point is made graphically with examples in the Tyler Vigen Spurious Correlation website [LINK] as seen in the example below.

bandicam 2020-04-09 12-21-53-140

Briefly, causation in time series data cannot be assumed based only on concurrence. So for example, that atmospheric CO2 concentration went up during a time when humans were burning fossil fuels does not establish causation or the direction of causation such that therefore burning fossil fuels had caused atmospheric CO2 concentration to rise. For that the two time series must first be detrended so that the effect of shared trends on the correlation coefficient is removed. Then a statistically significant correlation between the detrended series can be used to support the causation hypothesis at a given time scale of interest. In related posts we show that detrended correlation analysis does not support the assumed causation in climate science that because of the concurrence of fossil fuel emissions with rising atmospheric CO2, fossil fuel emissions must be the cause of the rising CO2 [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] .

(8)  NATURAL SOURCES OF CO2 MUST BE CONSIDERED:  The failure of detrended correlation analysis to support the hypothesis, that changes in atmospheric composition in the industrial economy is caused by the industrial economy, implies that natural flows of CO2 must also be considered in the dynamics of atmospheric composition. A significant source of carbon in that context is the geological emissions found in seepage, above ground volcanic eruptions and submarine volcanism as well as hydrothermal vents and other non-explosive transfer of mantle carbon to the surface such as mantle plumes. The climate science argument that CO2 emissions from eruptions of land volcanoes are immaterial in this regard derives from an arbitrary restriction to land volcanic eruptions as the only geological source.

(9)  THE CASE OF HAWAIIAN CLIMATE ACTIVISM: Specifically, the relative contribution of geological carbon to fossil fuel carbon is likely to be significantly enhanced above the global average in areas with higher intensity of geological activity. We show above that this is the case with the Hawaiian Islands that sit on the very active geological feature of the Hawaiian Ridge system. Therefore in Hawaii, more so than in global averages, geological carbon dioxide is relatively more important when evaluating the effect of fossil fuel emissions on atmospheric composition. These considerations imply that climate activism in the Hawaiian Islands against rising atmospheric CO2 concentration must be directed at all sources of carbon dioxide relevant in the local context instead of just fossil fuels. The details of the Hawaiian climate activism is described in the CONTEXT section below.

(10) THE CONTEXT FOR THE CASE OF HAWAIIAN ACTIVISM: THE CITY OF HONOLULU WILL FILE CLIMATE LIABILITY LAWSUIT AGAINST FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES SEEKING $$COMPENSATION$$ FOR CLIMATE IMPACTSMayor Kirk Caldwell said on Tuesday he intends to file suit against BP, Chevron, Shell, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, the BHP Group, Marathon and Aloha Petroleum to hold them accountable for climate impacts to the city. The announcement comes just one week after Maui announced it intends to do the same. Both suits are pending approval of other local officials. The municipalities are seeking to force the fossil fuel companies to help pay for climate adaptation and damage costs. Both suits are expected to allege that the companies knew for decades about the devastating climate consequences of their products and engaged in a tobacco-style campaign to undermine the science and obstruct regulatory policies. “The ocean is speaking about the climate crisis. For 50 years, Big Oil knew about these impacts. They knew and then they covered it up. Hawaii is particularly vulnerable to climate impacts such as sea level rise, flooding and severe storms. Over 70 percent of Hawaii’s beaches are in a chronic state of erosion and the island of Oahu has lost nearly 25 percent of its beaches. A category 3 hurricane could inflict $26 billion in damages on Oahu alone and relocation of roads in the state is estimated to cost $15 billion. The state’s tourism industry is also expected to suffer as the sea eats away at Hawaii’s famous beaches. Rising seas, rain bombs, stronger hurricanes, and other consequences of climate change are already threatening Oahu and will impact our fiscal health. Taxpayers should not have to pay for all the steps we will need to take to protect our roads, beaches, homes, and businesses. That should be on the fossil fuel companies who knowingly caused the damage, and as budget chair I believe we should go to court to make them pay their share. Sixty-eight percent of Hawaiians strongly support making fossil fuel companies pay for climate damages, according to a recent poll. That rises to 71 percent among residents of Honolulu County. “Oahu taxpayers shouldn’t have to bear the burden of this cost. Honolulu must prepare now. “California is on fire, the Bahamas were nearly wiped off the map, and Houston has been hit by three 500-year floods in the past three years. It is devastating to find out that Big Oil knew these impacts would occur as far back as the 1960s, and yet they chose to undermine the science and sow confusion instead of becoming responsible corporate citizens. This lawsuit won’t stop climate change from happening, but it will help pay for the protection and preparation of our citizens as climate disasters continue to come our way.

HONOLULU

(11) THE ASSESSMENT OF NATURAL GEOLOGICAL SOURCES OF CARBON DIOXIDE PRESENTED ABOVE IMPLY THAT IT IS NECESSARY FOR THE LITIGANT IN THIS CASE TO DETERMINE THE FRACTION OF THE BLAME AND LIABILITY FOR THEIR CLIMATE WOES THAT MUST BE BORNE BY NATURE AND THE FRACTION TO BE BORNE BY FOSSIL FUEL COMPANIES. THE BURDEN OF PROOF FOR THESE DETERMINATIONS LIES WITH THE LITIGANT. MORE TO THE POINT, PEOPLE WHO DON’T LIKE CARBON DIOXIDE SHOULDN’T LIVE ON A MANTLE PLUME HOTSPOT

 

 

 

 

 

POSTSCRIPT

  1. Dalrymple, G. Brent, Eli A. Silver, and Everett D. Jackson. “Origin of the Hawaiian Islands: Recent studies indicate that the Hawaiian volcanic chain is a result of relative motion between the Pacific plate and a melting spot in the Earth’s mantle.” American Scientist 61.3 (1973): 294-308.  Link to Full Text PDF file [LINK]
  2. USGS, Eruptions of Hawaiian Volcanoes, (2006) Full Test PDF file [LINK] . The principal Hawaiian islands, stretching about 400 miles from Ni’ihau in the northwest to the Island of Hawai’i in the southeast, are the exposed tops of volcanoes that rise tens of thousands of feet above the ocean floor. Some islands are made up of two or more volcanoes. Areas in red on the Island of Hawai‘i indicate lava flows erupted during the past two centuries. Lö‘ihi Seamount, Hawai‘i’s newest and still submarine volcano, lies about 3,100 feet beneath the sea. bandicam 2020-04-09 07-27-53-596

 

9 Responses to "THE GEOLOGY OF HAWAII"

Reblogged this on uwerolandgross.

There have been some edits, uwe. Sorry. Fixed typos.

Are you saying that the Mauna Loa CO2 data is biased higher than The global average by submarine emissions, thereby making it a poor indicator of global CO2?

No sir. I am saying that the data do not show that changes in atmos co2 are driven by fossil fuel emissions.

I realize that, but is it also possible that the Mauna Loa data is tainted because of where the sampling facility it is located?

This is a good point sir and a widely held view but maybe the so called “well mixed” properties are likely to be found at the high elevation where these measurements are made. I did check them against data from samoa. There were some differences but within the stated uncertainty band.

Thanks for this excellent article Chaamjamal.

You are very welcome sir. Thank you for your kind comment.

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