|Yves Rubin | profile | all galleries >> Hawaii - Big Island >> Green Sand Beach||tree view | thumbnails | slideshow|
Pu'u o Mahana, or Papakolea Beach (Green Sand), is the spectacular erosion product of a volcanic cinder cone near South Point on the Big Island of Hawaii. It can be reached through a 1-hour hike passing some beautiful scenics, although a passable amount of it consists of four-wheel drive trails through dry brush (take plenty of water!). The unusual color of green sand stems from the semi-precious stone olivine, polished over time by the action of waves. The crystals of olivine form in abundance when hot volcanic lava cools down. Since this mineral is much harder than the surrounding lava matrix, it tends to accumulate over time near areas of lava erosion. Some pictures in this gallery are featured on the website and in the offices of the environmentally friendly architecture firm Green Sand Inc. based in Honolulu, Hawaii. The fourth image (green sand abstract) was recently featured in a Chinese National Geography Magazine article on exceptionally beautiful Hawaiian beaches.