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No. 101: Sep-Oct 1995

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The giant landslides of hawaii

Major submarine landslides of Hawaii
The island of Hawaii. The offshore stipled areas show the major submarine landslides. Application of the distance scale proves their immense areal extents. Depth contours are in kilometers! The heavy dashed line marks the axis of the Hawaiian Deep.
Most landslides are not anomalous, but some of those that occurred on the flanks of the Hawaiian Islands are so immense that anomalists should at least take note of them.

J. Moore et al have been mapping and sampling huge blocks of rock that slid off the sides of Mauna Loa in the socalled South Kona landslide. These blocks of lava and basalt are truly giants. One was measured at 10 kilometers in length, 300 meters in thickness. Some of these colossal chunks of rock slid 80 kilometers (50 miles) out to sea during the late Pleistocene. Imagine the tsunami (tidal wave) this landslide must have generated! (Moore, James G., et al; "Giant Blocks in the South Kona Landslide, Hawaii," Geology, 23:125, 1995.)

Comment. The South Kona landslide, or one like it, and the resulting tsunami might account for the curious distribution of sand dunes along the coast of New South Wales, Australia. See Science Frontiers #85.

From Science Frontiers #101 Sep-Oct 1995. 1995-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987