For sand collectors, Hawaii is perhaps one of the most exciting state in the US. Green olivine sand is already famous for its beauty but also for the stories with annoyed spirits who protect the islands from bad mannered tourists. The second largest Hawaiian islands is Maui, a lovely piece of heaven of volcanic origin. The volcanism in the area has been so strong and dense over the millennia that lava coming from two neighbour volcanoes (one on the western side and one on the east) overlapped each other and formed a so-called volcanic doublet. The merged lava gave birth to an iron-reach rock and, due to repeated tidal and aeolian erosion, this rock further turned into a beautiful reddish sand.
The sample no 2204 US-HI from my Sand Atlas collection comes from Hana Bay on the far eastern side of the Maui island. Lava eroded from the volcano’s top was sprayed into the air. When meeting the strong winds coming from the ocean, the lava accumulated on the shores formed a small mountainous summit called also Ka’uiki Hill. The sand in the image above comes from there and, multiplied several times (width of the image is about 8 mm), it shows the amazing complexity of each and every sand grain.