Oahu

Last updated

Oahu
Nickname: The Gathering Place
Oahu.jpg
Satellite photo of Oahu
Map of Hawaii highlighting Oahu.svg
Geography
Location 21°28′23″N157°59′12″W / 21.4730°N 157.9868°W / 21.4730; -157.9868 Coordinates: 21°28′23″N157°59′12″W / 21.4730°N 157.9868°W / 21.4730; -157.9868
Area596.7 sq mi (1,545 km2)
Area rank 3rd largest Hawaiian Island
Highest elevation4,003 ft (1220.1 m)
Highest point Kaʻala
Administration
United States
Symbols
Flower ʻilima
Color Melemele (yellow)
Largest settlement Honolulu
Demographics
Population976,372 (2012)
Pop. density1,636/sq mi (631.7/km2)
Aerial view of Oahu with freeways and highways; 3D computer-generated image Hawaii-Oahu-TF.jpg
Aerial view of Oahu with freeways and highways; 3D computer-generated image
Fly-around tour of the island

Oahu ( /ˈɑːh/ ) (Hawaiian: Oʻahu (pronounced  [oˈʔɐhu] )), also known as "The Gathering Place", is the third-largest of the Hawaiian Islands. It is home to roughly one million people—about two-thirds of the population of the U.S. state of Hawaii. The island lies within Honolulu County and the state capital, Honolulu, is on Oahu's southeast coast.

Contents

Including small associated islands such as Ford Island plus those in Kāneʻohe Bay and off the eastern (windward) coast, its area is 596.7 square miles (1,545.4 km2), making it the 20th-largest island in the United States. [1]

Oahu is 44 miles (71 km) long and 30 miles (48 km) across. Its shoreline is 227 miles (365 km) long. The island is composed of two separate shield volcanoes: the Waiʻanae and Koʻolau Ranges, with a broad valley or saddle (the central Oahu Plain) between them. The highest point is Kaʻala in the Waiʻanae Range, rising to 4,003 feet (1,220 m) above sea level. [2]

Introduction

The island was home to 953,207 people in 2010 (approximately 72% of the population of the state, with approximately 81% of those living in or near the Honolulu urban area). Oahu has for a long time been known as the "Gathering Place". The term Oʻahu has no confirmed meaning in Hawaiʻian, other than that of the place itself. [3] Ancient Hawaiian tradition attributes the name's origin in the legend of Hawaiʻiloa , the Polynesian navigator credited with discovery of the Hawaiian Islands. The story relates that he named the island after his daughter.

Residents of Oahu refer to themselves as "locals" (as done throughout Hawaii), no matter their ancestry.

The city of Honolulu—largest city, state capital, and main deepwater marine port for the State of Hawaiʻi—is located here. As a jurisdictional unit, the entire island of Oahu is in the Honolulu County, although as a place name, Honolulu occupies only a portion of the southeast end of the island.

Well-known features found on Oahu include Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, Hanauma, Kāneʻohe Bay, Kailua Bay, North Shore.

While the entire island is officially the City and County of Honolulu, locals identify settlements using town names (generally those of the census-designated places), and consider the island to be divided into various areas, which may overlap. The most commonly accepted areas are the "City", "Town" or "Town side", which is the urbanized area from Halawa to the area below Diamond Head (residents of the island north of the Koʻolau Mountains consider the Town Side to be the entire southern half), "West Oahu", which goes from Pearl Harbor to Kapolei, ʻEwa and may include the Mākaha and Waiʻanae areas; the "North Shore" (northwestern coast); the "Windward Side" (northeastern coast from Kahuku to Kāneʻohe); the "East Side" or "East Coast" (the eastern portion of the island, from Kāneʻohe on the northeast, around the tip of the island to include much of the area east of Diamond Head); and "The Valley" or "Central Oahu" which runs northwest from Pearl Harbor toward Haleʻiwa. These terms are somewhat flexible, depending on the area in which the user lives, and are used in a mostly general way, but residents of each area identify strongly with their part of the island, especially those outside of widely-known towns. For instance, if locals are asked where they live, they would usually reply "Windward Oahu" rather than "Laie".

Being roughly diamond-shaped, surrounded by ocean and divided by mountain ranges, directions on Oahu are not generally described with the compass directions found throughout the world. Locals instead use directions originally using Honolulu as the central point. To go ʻewa means traveling toward the western tip of the island, "Diamond Head" is toward the eastern tip, mauka is inland (toward the central Koʻolau Mountain range, north of Honolulu) and makai toward the sea. When these directions became common, Diamond Head was the eastern edge of the primary populated area. Today, with a much larger populace and extensive development, the mountain itself is often not actually to the east when directions are given, and is not to be used as a literal point of reference—to go "Diamond Head" is to go to the east from anywhere on the island.

Oahu is also known for having the longest rain shower in history, which lasted for 200 consecutive days. Kāneʻohe Ranch reported 247 straight days with rain from August 27, 1993 to April 30, 1994. The island has many nicknames one of them being "rainbow state." This is because rainbows are a common sight in Hawaiʻi due to the frequent rain showers. The average temperature in Oahu is around 70–85 °F (21–29 °C) and the island is the warmest in June through October. The weather during the winter is cooler, but still warm with an average temperature of 68–78 °F (20–26 °C).

The windward side is known for some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Lanikai Beach on the windward coast of Oahu has been consistently ranked among the best beaches in the world. [4]

History

Pearl Harbor is the home of the largest U.S. Navy fleet in the Pacific. The harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, by the Japanese Empire, bringing the United States into World War II. Aerial view of Pearl Harbor on 1 June 1986 (6422248).jpg
Pearl Harbor is the home of the largest U.S. Navy fleet in the Pacific. The harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, by the Japanese Empire, bringing the United States into World War II.
USS Arizona Memorial (right); USS Missouri (left) in Pearl Harbor Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.JPG
USS Arizona Memorial (right); USS Missouri (left) in Pearl Harbor

The island has been inhabited since at least 3rd century A.D. [5] The 304-year-old Kingdom of Oʻahu was once ruled by the most ancient aliʻi in all of the Hawaiian Islands. The first great king of Oʻahu was Maʻilikūkahi, the lawmaker, who was followed by many generation of monarchs. Kualiʻi was the first of the warlike kings and so were his sons. In 1773, the throne fell upon Kahahana, the son of Elani of Ewa. In 1783, Kahekili II, King of Maui, conquered Oʻahu and deposed the reigning family and then made his son, Kalanikūpule, king of O'ahu, turning O'ahu into a puppet state. Kamehameha the Great would conquer in the mountain Kalanikūpule's force in the Battle of Nuʻuanu. Kamehameha founded the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi with the conquest of Oʻahu in 1795. Hawaiʻi would not be unified until the islands of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau surrendered under King Kaumualiʻi in 1810. Kamehameha III moved his capital from Lāhainā, Maui to Honolulu, Oʻahu in 1845. ʻIolani Palace, built later by other members of the royal family, is still standing, and is the only royal palace on American soil.

Oahu was apparently the first of the Hawaiian Islands sighted by the crew of HMS Resolution on January 19, 1778, during Captain James Cook's third Pacific expedition. Escorted by HMS Discovery, the expedition was surprised to find high islands this far north in the central Pacific. Oahu was not actually visited by Europeans until February 28, 1779, when Captain Charles Clerke aboard HMS Resolution stepped ashore at Waimea Bay. Clerke had taken command of the ship after James Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay (island of Hawaiʻi) on February 14, and was leaving the islands for the North Pacific. With the discovery of the Hawaiian Islands came the introduction of disease, mosquitoes, and aggressive foreign animals. Although indirect, the simple exposure to these foreign species caused permanent damage to the Native Hawaiian people and environment.

The Imperial Japanese Navy's attack on Pearl Harbor, Oahu on the morning of December 7, 1941 brought the United States into World War II. The surprise attack was aimed at destroying the American will to fight and make them sue for peace immediately by attacking the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy and its defending Army Air Forces and Marine Air Forces. The attack damaged or destroyed twelve American warships, destroyed 188 aircraft, and resulted in the deaths of 2,335 American servicemen and 68 civilians (of those, 1,177 were the result of the destruction of the USS Arizona alone).

Today, Oahu has become a tourism and shopping haven. Over five million visitors (mainly from the contiguous United States and Japan) flock there every year to enjoy the island.

Law enforcement

Oahu boasts of having had the Olympic Gold Medal winner Duke Kahanamoku serve as Sheriff, perhaps the only such athlete to serve as a law enforcement professional. He held that office for 13 consecutive terms, from 1932 until 1961.

Visitors should be aware that some of the police vehicles on Oahu (and on the "Big Island" of Hawaiʻi) are unmarked except for the blue lights mounted on their roofs. [6]

Climate

O‘ahu
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
14
 
 
27
18
 
 
27
 
 
27
19
 
 
105
 
 
27
17
 
 
2
 
 
30
19
 
 
6
 
 
29
18
 
 
2
 
 
31
21
 
 
8
 
 
30
22
 
 
10
 
 
28
18
 
 
2
 
 
28
23
 
 
95
 
 
28
21
 
 
21
 
 
28
21
 
 
25
 
 
25
20
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: [7]

Tourist attractions

Lanikai Beach Lanikai beach culture.JPG
Lanikai Beach
Downtown Honolulu Honolulu01.JPG
Downtown Honolulu
Waikiki Beach is one of the most known beaches in the world. Waikiki Beach, Honolulu.JPG
Waikīkī Beach is one of the most known beaches in the world.
Valley of the Temples Memorial Park near the island's eastern shore Byodo-In Tempel.jpg
Valley of the Temples Memorial Park near the island's eastern shore
Jellyfish swim in a tank at Waikiki Aquarium. Jellyfish at Waikiki Aquarium.jpg
Jellyfish swim in a tank at Waikīkī Aquarium.
Mokoli`i island, also known as Chinaman's Hat, offshore of Kualoa Valley Chinaman's Hat - Oahu Hawaii.JPG
Mokoliʻi island, also known as Chinaman's Hat, offshore of Kualoa Valley
Nu`uanu Pali of the Ko`olau mountain Oahu Landscape.jpg
Nuʻuanu Pali of the Koʻolau mountain

Top beaches

Attractions

Helicopter view of Oahu Part of Oahu as seen from a helicopter.jpg
Helicopter view of Oahu
Ko'Olina white sand lagoon Ko Olina.jpg
Ko'Olina white sand lagoon

Beginning with a contract with the US Navy in 2001, Ocean Power Technologies began ocean-testing Azura, its wave power generation system at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) at Kāneʻohe Bay. The Oahu system was launched under the company's program with the US Navy for ocean testing and demonstration of such systems, including connection to the Oahu grid. [12] The prototype can produce 20 kW, a system with 500 kW to 1 MW is planned to be installed at end of 2017. [13]

Oahu has 343 MW of rooftop solar power, [14] and potential for 92 MW of wind power. [15] [16]

Notable people

Carissa Moore Carissa moore 2011 biarritz.jpg
Carissa Moore
Jake Shimabukuro Jake Shimabukuro.jpg
Jake Shimabukuro
Michelle Wie 2009 LPGA Championship - Michelle Wie (2).jpg
Michelle Wie

See also

Related Research Articles

Honolulu State capital city in Hawaii, United States

Honolulu is the capital and largest city of the U.S. state of Hawaii. It is an unincorporated part of and the county seat of the City and County of Honolulu along the southeast coast of the island of Oʻahu. The city is the main gateway to Hawaiʻi and a major portal into the United States. The city is also a major hub for international business and military defense, as well as being host to a diverse variety of east–west and Pacific cultures, cuisine, and traditions.

Kailua Census-designated place in Hawaii, United States

Kailua is a census-designated place (CDP) in Honolulu County, Hawaii, United States. It lies in the Koʻolaupoko District of the island of Oʻahu on the windward coast at Kailua Bay. It is in the judicial district and the ahupua'a named Ko'olaupoko. It is 12 miles (19 km) northeast of Honolulu – over Nu‘uanu Pali. The population was 38,635 at the 2010 census.

Kaneohe, Hawaii Census-designated place in Hawaii, United States

Kāneʻohe is a census-designated place (CDP) included in the City and County of Honolulu and located in Hawaiʻi state District of Koʻolaupoko on the island of Oʻahu. In the Hawaiian language, kāne ʻohe means "bamboo man". According to an ancient Hawaiian story a local woman compared her husband's cruelty to the sharp edge of cutting bamboo; thus the place was named Kāneʻohe or "Bamboo man". The population was 34,597 at the 2010 census. Kāneʻohe is the largest of several communities along Kāneʻohe Bay and one of the two largest residential communities on the windward side of Oʻahu. The commercial center of the town is spread mostly along Kamehameha Highway.

Mākaha, Hawaii Census-designated place in Hawaii, United States

Mākaha is a census-designated place (CDP) in Honolulu County, Hawaiʻi, United States. It is a town located along the Pacific coast, west of the Mākaha Valley, and at the foot of Mt. Ka'ala in the Wai’anae Mountain Range. It is the last of the leeward towns on O'ahu. North of Mākaha is little development, i.e. no towns, no gas stations, or restaurants. The population of Mākaha was 8,278 at the 2010 census. It is located 35 miles northwest of Honolulu, but is a part of Honolulu County.

Waimea Bay Bay on Oahu in Hawaii, United States

Waimea Bay is located in Haleiwa on the North Shore of O'ahu in the Hawaiian Islands at the mouth of the Waimea River. Waimea Valley extends behind Waimea Bay. Waimea means "reddish water" in Hawaiian.

North Koolaupoko, Hawaii An area of a census-designated place in Hawaii, United States

Waikane, also known as North Koʻolaupoko, is an area and census-designated placein the County of Honolulu, Hawaii, United States, on the island of Oʻahu. It had a population of 778 at the 2010 census. In Hawaiian, koʻolau poko means "short windward", referring to the fact that this is the shorter of the two windward districts on the island. Koʻolaupoko extends from Makapuʻu Point on the southeast to Kaʻōʻio Point on the north. Included within the district, south of North Koʻolaupoko, are the largest windward towns of Kāneʻohe, Kailua, and Waimānalo.

Diamond Head, Hawaii Mountain on Oahu in Hawaii, United States of America

Diamond Head is a volcanic tuff cone on the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu and known to Hawaiians as Lēʻahi. The Hawaiian name is most likely derived from lae plus ʻahi (tuna) because the shape of the ridgeline resembles the shape of a tuna's dorsal fin. Its English name was given by British sailors in the 19th century, who mistook calcite crystals on the adjacent beach for diamonds.

The following is an alphabetical list of articles related to the U.S. state of Hawaii:

Hanauma Bay bay

Hanauma is a marine embayment formed within a tuff ring and located along the southeast coast of the Island of Oʻahu in the Hawaii Kai neighborhood of East Honolulu, in the Hawaiian Islands.

Koʻolau Range A non-regular jagged mountain range in Oahu, Honolulu County, Hawaii.

Koʻolau Range is a name given to the dormant fragmented remnant of the eastern or windward shield volcano of the Hawaiian island of Oʻahu. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1972.

Nuʻuanu Pali Section of the windward cliff of the Koʻolau mountain on Oʻahu, Hawaii

Nuʻuanu Pali is a section of the windward cliff of the Koʻolau mountain located at the head of Nuʻuanu Valley on the island of Oʻahu. It has a panoramic view of the windward (northeast) coast of Oʻahu. The Pali Highway connecting Kailua/Kāneʻohe with downtown Honolulu runs through the Nuʻuanu Pali Tunnels bored into the cliffside.

Kamehameha Highway is one of the main highways serving suburban and rural O‘ahu in the U.S. state of Hawaii. Starting from Nimitz Highway near Pearl Harbor and Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, it serves the island's older western suburbs, turning north across the O‘ahu Central Valley to the North Shore. At the North Shore, Kamehameha Highway heads northeast around the northern tip of O‘ahu, then southeast to and just beyond Kāne‘ohe Bay on the windward coast. The road was named after King Kamehameha I.

Oahu Railway and Land Company United States historic place

The Oahu Railway and Land Company, or OR&L, was a 3 ft narrow gauge common carrier railway that served much of the Hawaiian island of Oahu, and was the largest narrow gauge class one common carrier in the U.S, until its dissolution in 1947.

Honolulu County, Hawaii County in Hawaii, US

Honolulu County is a consolidated city–county in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The city–county includes both the city of Honolulu and the rest of the island of Oʻahu, as well as several minor outlying islands, including all of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands except Midway Atoll.

Kukaniloko Birth Site United States historic place

Kūkaniloko Birth Site, also known as the Kūkaniloko Birthstones State Monument, is one of the most important ancient cultural sites on the island of Oʻahu. It was first listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and its boundaries were increased in 1995, after 5 acres (2.0 ha) of land which included the site became a state park in 1992.

The transportation system of Hawaii is a cooperation of complex systems of infrastructure.

Farrington Highway is a major highway through the western part of O‘ahu in the U.S. state of Hawaii. Starting from Kamehameha Highway north of Pearl Harbor, it heads west along the island's southwestern and western coast; another part of the highway also serves the western part of the North Shore, ending in Waialua. With the exception of a gap around Kaena Point which is no longer passable to cars, the highway forms an almost continuous arc along the coast of the western half of the island of O‘ahu.

North Shore (Oahu) Coast of Oʻahu

The North Shore, in the context of geography of the Island of Oʻahu, refers to the north-facing coastal area of Oʻahu between Kaʻena Point and Kahuku. The largest settlement is Haleʻiwa.

Honolulu Volcanics Volcanic field in Oahu, Hawaii

The Honolulu Volcanics are a group of volcanoes which form a volcanic field on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, more specifically in that island's southeastern sector and in the city of Honolulu from Pearl Harbor to the Mokapu Peninsula. It is part of the rejuvenated stage of Hawaiian volcanic activity, which occurred after the main stage of volcanic activity that on Oahu built the Koʻolau volcano. These volcanoes formed through dominantly explosive eruptions and gave rise to cinder cones, lava flows, tuff cones and volcanic islands. Among these are well known landmarks such as Diamond Head and Punchbowl Crater.

References

Citations

  1. "Table 5.08 – Land Area of Islands: 2000" (PDF). State of Hawaii. 2004. Retrieved July 23, 2007.
  2. "Table 5.11 – Elevations of Major Summits" (PDF). State of Hawaii. 2004. Retrieved July 23, 2007.
  3. Pukui, et al., 1976
  4. Conners, Valerie. "Top 10 Beaches of Hawaii". Travel Channel . Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  5. Van, James (2010). Ancient Sites of Oahu: A Guide to Archaeological Places of Interest. Bishop Museum Pr. Page 5. ISBN   978-1581780956.
  6. Brannan, Johnny (June 16, 2002). "Use of personal cars saves police time and money | The Honolulu Advertiser | Hawaii's Newspaper". the.honoluluadvertiser.com. Retrieved July 16, 2020.
  7. "NASA Earth Observations Data Set Index". NASA. Retrieved January 30, 2016.
  8. "Test Drive Unlimited 2 trailer shows pretty sights of Ibiza, Oahu". Neoseeker.
  9. "MythBusters: Duct Tape Island Aftershow : Video : Discovery Channel". Dsc.discovery.com. March 25, 2012. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  10. Father and Me Hawaii Tourism Authority 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  11. The Reimanns TV episode guide. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  12. "Ocean Power Technologies: Capturing Wave Energy for the U.S. Navy and the Grid" (PDF). Acore.org. American Council on Renewable Energy. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 8, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  13. "Azura connects in Hawaii". reNEWS – Renewable Energy News. Archived from the original on May 15, 2018.
  14. "Solar Energy". Hawaiian Electric. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  15. "High Resolution Wind Resource Maps". Hawaiian Electric. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  16. Wind resource

Sources