unbekannter Gast


Photo courtesy of NASA., under PD
At the western end of the Samoan Island chain lies Savaii. Stretching over 1,682 sq km (649 sq mi), Savaii is one of the largest landmasses in Polynesia. The mountainous island is a shield volcano that reaches its highest altitude, 1,858 m (6,095 ft), near the center of the island.

The regions tropical, humid climate sustains vegetation that carpets much of the island. A jagged line of small, round volcanic craters extends east-west across the island (top of image). South of this uneven line, two deep, parallel valleys extend toward the south. The semicircular contours of the valleys suggest that they might be the remains of an ancient caldera or collapsed magma chamber that was modified by the later eruption of additional lava.

With the exception of a few brown crater rims, and a coastal settlement along the images left edge, the landscape appears in varying shades of green. Dense rainforests cover the islands rugged interior, and thick vegetation also thrives along the coastal plains. Savaii has remained volcanically active into historical times, with two eruptions occurring in the early 20th century.

The eruptions sent big lava flows to the islands northern coast, destroying several villages.