Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands or the Leeward Islands are the small islands and atolls in the Hawaiian island chain located norhwest (in some cases, far to the northwest) of the islands of Kaua'i and Ni'ihau. All the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands are uninhabited and administered by the U.S. state of Hawai‘i except Midway Atoll, which has temporary residential facilities and is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Northwestern or Leeward Hawaiian Islands include:
- French Frigate Shoals
- Gardner Pinnacles
- Maro Reef
- Pearl and Hermes Reef
- Midway (temporary residential facilities)
The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands were formed over the same volcanic hot spot that formed the Emperor Seamounts and the Windward Hawaiian Islands. As the Pacific Plate moved north and later northwest over the hot spot, volcanic eruptions built up islands. The isolated land masses gradually eroded and subsided, evolving from high islands to atolls (or seamounts north of the Darwin Point ).
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