October 18, 2014

1301-1305 UNITED STATES (Hawaii) - Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (UNESCO WHS)

Fountaining and lava flow
from the Puʻu ʻŌʻō on January 31, 1984

The Hawaiian islands were (and continue to be) continuously formed from volcanic activity initiated at an undersea magma source called a hotspot. As the tectonic plate beneath much of the Pacific Ocean moves to the northwest, the hot spot remains stationary, slowly creating new volcanoes. Due to the hotspot’s location, the only active volcanoes are located around the southern half of the Big Island. In 1916, this area, which encompasses Kīlauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, and Mauna Loa, the world's most massive subaerial volcano, was designated national park, become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, as "a unique example of significant island building through ongoing volcanic processes".

Kilauea - Halemaumau fire pit eruption, December 26, 1967

The park gives scientists insight into the birth of the Hawaiian Islands and ongoing studies into the processes of vulcanism. Volcanic eruptions have created a constantly changing landscape, and the lava flows reveal surprising geological formations. For visitors, the park offers dramatic volcanic landscapes as well as glimpses of rare flora and fauna. Climates range from lush tropical rain forests, to the arid and barren Kaʻū Desert. The park is also rich in archaeological remains particularly along 'the coast with native villages, temples, graves, paved trails, canoe landings, petroglyphs, shelter caves and agricultural areas. Extensive ruins of stone structures dating back to the time of Pa'ao (a high priest) in 1275 are present.

Kilauea lava show

Mauna Loa, meaning Long Mountain in Hawaiian, has probably been erupting for at least 700,000 years, and may have emerged above sea level about 400,000 years ago. Mauna Loa is a typical shield volcano in form, taking the shape of a long, broad dome extending down to the ocean floor whose slopes are about 12° at their steepest, a consequence of its extremely fluid lava. Lava eruptions from Mauna Loa are silica-poor, and very fluid; eruptions tend to be non-explosive and the volcano has relatively shallow slopes. Its most recent eruption occurred from March 24 to April 15, 1984. No recent eruptions of the volcano have caused fatalities, but eruptions in 1926 and 1950 destroyed villages, and the city of Hilo is partly built on lava flows from the late 19th century.

Kilauea and Mauna Loa

Kīlauea, at 300,000 to 600,000 years old and going above sea level about 100,000 years ago, it is the second youngest product of the Hawaiian hotspot and the current eruptive center of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain. Because it lacks topographic prominence and its activities historically coincided with those of Mauna Loa, Kīlauea was once thought to be a satellite of its much larger neighbor. Structurally, Kīlauea has a large, fairly recently formed caldera at its summit and two active rift zones, one extending 125km east and the other 35km west, as an active fault line of unknown depth moving vertically an average of 2 to 20mm per year. Its entire known history has been an active volcano, and except for a brief pause between 1934 and 1952, has never experienced any prolonged period of rest. Kīlauea's current eruption dates back to January 3, 1983, and is by far its longest-lived historical period of activity, as well as one of the longest-lived eruptions in the world.

Kilauea and Mauna Loa

Puʻu ʻŌʻō, often translated as "Hill of the ʻŌʻō Bird", is a cinder cone in the eastern rift zone of the Kīlauea volcano which has been erupting continuously since January 3, 1983. By January 2005, 2.7 cubic kilometers of magma covered an area of more than 117 square kilometers and added 0.93 square kilometers of land to the Southeast coast of Hawaiʻi. So far, the eruption has claimed 189 buildings and 14 kilometers of highways, as well as a church, a store, the Wahaʻula Visitor Center, and many ancient Hawaiian sites, including the Wahaʻula heiau. The coastal highway has been closed since 1987, as it has been buried under lava up to 35m thick.

About the stamps
On the first postcard
The first stamp, depicting a Navajo Necklace (2c / 2006), is part of the series American Design, about which I wrote here. The second stamp highlights the words Yes, I Do nestled in a colorful bouquet of flowers in the shape of a heart on a white background, and is part of the Wedding series, about which I wrote here. Issued on March 21, 2014, it was designed by Michael Osborne. The last stamp, depicting Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005), is part of the series Black Heritage Series, about which I wrote here.

On the second postcard
The first stamp, depicting a Navajo Necklace (2c / 2006), is part of the series American Design, about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of the Wedding series, about which I wrote here. The third, depicting the characters Lightning McQueen and Mater from the animated film Cars, belongs to the series Send a Hello (Forever), about which I wrote here.

On the third postcard
The first stamp, depicting Spicebush Swallowtail, is part of a definitive series with butterflies, about which I wrote here. The second is part of the series Building a Nation, about which I wrote here

On the fourth postcard
The first stamp, depicting a Navajo Necklace (2c / 2006), is part of the series American Design, about which I wrote here. The third is one of the three stamps issued as part of a civil rights series commemorating courage, strength and equality in America, about which I wrote here. The second stamp is part of the Wedding series, about which I wrote here.

On the fifth postcard
The first stamp, depicting a Navajo Necklace (2c / 2006), is part of the series American Design, about which I wrote here.

The second stamp, designed by Charles R. Chickering, was issued on September 21, 1948 to honor the Gold Star Mothers. The American Gold Star Mothers Inc. was formed in the United States shortly after WWI to provide support for mothers who lost sons or daughters in the war. The name came from the custom of families of servicemen hanging a banner called a Service Flag in the window of their homes. Today, membership in the Gold Star Mothers is open to any American woman who has lost a son or daughter in service to the United States. On the last Sunday in September, Gold Star Mother's Day is observed in the U.S. in their honor.

The following two stamps were issued to celebrate the anniversary of the statehood of two states from United States:
2009. 01.14 - the 150th year of Oregon statehood - designed by Gregory Manchess and depicting the state's Pacific coast beaches (0,42 USD)
2012.04.30 - the bicentennial of Louisiana statehood - designed by Phil Jordan after a photograph of Flat Lake taken by C.C. Lockwood (forever)

The fifth stamps is part of the series Progress in Electronics, issued in 1973:
• 0.06 USD
• 0,08 USD - it's on the postcard
• 0,11 USD
• 0.15 USD

The sixth stamp was issued in 1954 with the occasion of Kansas territorial centennial.

The seventh stamp was issued on March 23, 1949, with the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the settlement of Annapolis, Maryland. It shows a map of the Annapolis area showing the water route from the Chesapeake Bay to the Severn River and the original Puritan landing.

The eighth stamp was issued in 1944 to commemorate the Centenary of the telegraph.

Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park - Wikipedia
Kilauea - Wikipedia
Mauna Loa - Wikipedia

Sender 1-4: Denise
1: sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 04.02.2014
Photo: J.D. Griggs
2: sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 21.01.2014
Photo: USGS 
3: sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 04.02.2014 
Photo: Peter French
4: sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 21.01.2014 
Photo: Carol Highsmith
Sender 5: sussanev (postcrossing)
5: sent from Durham (North Carolina / United States), on 15.03.2013

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