Not only are Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Island of Hawaii, but the “big Island” also has more petroglyphs than the other Hawaiian islands, and some spectacular waterfalls. Petroglyphs are images carved in stone. The age of these petroglyphs is not known, but experts believe the stick-figure petroglyphs are among the oldest.
The sulfur fumes that Gage was describing probably come from one of the volcanoes on the island. Based on measurements, water vapor is the most common gas coming out of volcanoes, with carbon dioxide second, and sulfur dioxide third. Also released are hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen sulfide, and other gases. Both sulfur dioxide and hydrogen sulfide have strong smells and irritate the respiratory tract. Sulfur dioxide also irritates the eyes and skin, and sustained exposure to high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide and cause illness. One or both of these are probably the “sulfur fumes” in the blog, so it’s not surprising that the students changed their lunch plans.
Day 6 – 16 October 2007
Madison – 13
We hiked out to the petroglyphs, made up to 1,000 years ago. They were carved into the pahoehoe that resulted from the lava flowing uphill. It is believed that the carvings signify family. We later went to Akaka Falls. It is 450 feet (137 m) tall, and very thin. It’s in a rainforest.
The symbols called petroglyphs have many meanings, there were pictures of stick figure people were most likely just that; people. Little dots were supposedly representing a baby born, and that they put the umbilical cords underneath them. There were tons of other symbols, but they are kind of hard to name.
Gage – 13
We went to a place where there were petroglyphs carved into the lava, it was pretty cool. Then we had to move our lunch place because there was a ton of sulfur fumes in the place we were supposed go, so we had lunch in a parking lot. Tomorrow we fly back to Honolulu on Oahu again.