Hawaii's Mountainous Oahu Will Someday Be Flat
Check back in about 2 million years
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 22, 2012 11:13 AM CST
A hiker looks out over Kailua Bay on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

(Newser) – Hawaii's island of Oahu is renowned for its mountainous vistas, but someday it's going to be flat as a pancake, or at least as flat as Midway. So say researchers from Brigham Young University in a new study, reports UPI. The big factor isn't what you might expect, namely external erosion. Rather, the island's own groundwater is slowly dissolving the mountains. The weird part, explains PlanetSave, is that Oahu's elevation is actually going to keep growing for 1.5 million years because of how it's being shifted by tectonic plates. But after that, the slow descent begins.

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Showing 3 of 26 comments
Jan 3, 2013 2:45 PM CST
Now why would the tallest mountain in the world become flat? Why didn't it flatten out sooner. Yes tallest from the bottom of the ocean it is higher than Mt. Everest which is 29,250 above sea level. Yes the Magma bulge which formed the Hawaian Islands continues to stay in place as the earth plates continue to shift...thus forming new Islands as in a stepping stone walk way toward the north, northwest. I for one am a skeptic of the Oahu Island flattening....it has done its growing now the Magma below continues to construct new Islands.
Dec 22, 2012 8:23 PM CST
All mountains erode and the products of that erosion are eventually subducted into the earth. A giant recycling machine. Geology 101, week one.
Dec 22, 2012 7:25 PM CST
This is important to us why?