Plan your island getaway now: In time, the mountainous tropical paradise of Oahu will erode, according to new research, with the biggest losses coming from within the island itself.
To be accurate, you do have some time to book that vacation before Hawaii's Oahu flattens from an island into a low-lying seamount.
Researchers writing in the upcoming Feb. 15 issue of the journal Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta estimate that the volcanic island will continue to grow, thanks to plate tectonics, for another 75,000 to 1.75 million years. After that, however, the forces working to eat away at Oahu from the inside out will begin to triumph.
Researchers at Brigham Young University in Utah investigated the forces that add and subtract material from Oahu. The island offers an ideal place to conduct such a study, the researchers said, as it consists of one kind of rock that is exposed to very different levels of precipitation. Various regions in Oahu can record between 2 and 23 feet of precipitation a year, depending on the local climate.
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