Hawaiian Place Names

Source: Place Names of Hawaii, M. K. Pukui, S. H. Ebert, & E.T. Mookini, University of Hawaii Press, 1974

Haleakalä
Dormant shield volcano on the island of Maui that last erupted in 1790; estimated age 2 million years old. Elongate summit crater 860 m (2580 ft) deep, 12 km (7.2 miles) by 3.5 km (2.1 miles) wide, breached by erosion on northwest and southeast by large valleys, forming between 50,000 and 300,000 years ago. Literally, "house [used] by the sun (the demigod Maui was believed to have lassoed the sun here in order to lengthen the day, and permit his mother, Hina, to dry her tapa). 3055 m (10,023 ft).
Halema'uma'u
Crater also known as the fire pit, within Kilauea Crater, 165 m (495 ft) deep and 6 km (3.6 miles) wide, which formed through series of collapses between 210 and 500 years ago; literally, "fern house," referring to a house of ferns built by Kamapua'a, a rebuffed suitor of Pele, to keep her from escaping and causing eruptions.
Heiau
A Hawaiian religious structure or temple
Hilina
Hilina Pali comprises the network of faults which downdrop the flank of Kilauea seaward. The Hilina Fault, with a 350 m (1050 ft) throw and dip of 50-60°, shoals at depth within the volcanic pile of Kilauea. Offshore, the submarine Hilina Slump accommodates movement of Kilauea's south flank as it moves seaward at rates of about 10 cm/year (4 inches/year) under magmatic pressure and gravitational forces. Literally, "struck (as by wind)."
Hilo
Town located on eastern coast of Hawaii island. Named perhaps for the first night of the new moon, or a Polynesian navigator. Hawaii county seat of government. 1995 estimated population 47,000.
Hilo Ridge
Submarine ridge extending from Hilo Bay north of the Puna Ridge. It is an extension of the flank of Mauna Kea.
Hölei Pali
The Chain of Craters Road in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park goes down the 300-400 m high Hölei Pali, which marks the eastern end of the Hilina fault system, as it descends from the summit down to sea level. Named after a native Hawaiian tree.
Hualälai Volcano
Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii that last erupted in 1800-1801, sending fast-moving voluminous lava flows that covered large parts of the western coast of the Big Island. Height of 2523 m (8271 ft) with a well-developed northwest rift zone and less-developed south-southeast and north rift zone. It has an age estimated at over 300,000 years.
Kailua-Kona
Town on the western coast of the Big Island known for its tourism. Literally, "two seas (probably currents)". 1995 estimated population of 34,000.
Kaimü
Beautiful black sand beach and surf spot formed by steam explosions when lava met the sea in about 1750; literally, "gathering [at the] sea [to watch surfing]."
Ka Lae South Point, Hawai'i
Southernmost point in all 50 states; literally, "the point."
Kalapana
A priest of Pele, literally "announce noted place". Town in the Puna district, once famous for its black sand beach (named Kaimu), but covered in 1990 from the Pu'u O'o eruption.
Ka’öiki Fault Zone
Active fault zone that accommodates stress between the active volcanoes of Mauna Loa and Kilauea; literally, "the small thrust."
Kapoho
Kilauea volcano lower East Rift Zone eruption of 1960 which resulted in the destruction of the village of Kapoho; 10 km2 of land was covered by the eruption, which occurred 50 km (30 miles) downrift from the summit. Literally, "the depression."
Kealakekua Fault
Fault activated during the 1950-1952 earthquakes (magnitudes of 6.0-6.9) that caused damage to south Kona.
Kealakekua Bay
This was the site of the death of Captain James Cook, the western explorer credited with discovering the Hawaiian Islands, but who met an untimely and violent death when native Hawaiians found out that he and his seamen were mortal and not gods. The bay is also a marine preserve and one the best best places for snorkeling in Hawaii. Literally, "pathway [of] the god."
Kilauea
Active volcano on the flank of Mauna Loa with two main rift zones: the East Rift Zone and the Southwest Rift Zone.  Kilauea was continuously active from the late 1700's until 1924 as summit eruptions within Halemau'uma'u Crater, and again in 1952, 1960 (downrift covering town of Kapoho), and 1972-74 (Mauna Ulu East Rift Zone eruption), prior to start of 1983 Pu'u O'o eruption. For the past 200 years, Kilauea and Mauna Loa have erupted on average every two to three years, making them the world's most frequently active volcanoes; since 1950, Kilauea eruptive activity had dominated. Since 1956, average volume of lava erupted is about 91 million cubic meters/year (120 million cubic yards/year). Summit elevation is 1,277 m (4190 ft). Literally, "great spewing, wide-spreading" (i.e. volcanic eruptions). Estimated age of 600,000 years, though 90% of its surface is less than 1,100 years old.
Kilauea Iki
Small crater just outside of Kilauea Crater, literally "little Kilauea."
Koa’e Fault System
The 12 km (7.2 mile) long, 2 km (1.2 mile) wide, fault system between Kilauea Caldera and Hilina Pali, forms the westward extension of the East Rift Zone from Mauna Ulu to Mauna Iki on the Southwest Rift Zone. Perhaps named for a supernatural being with a tropic bird who once lived in the area.
Kohala Volcano
Extinct and oldest volcano on the Big Island, having last erupted 120,000 years ago. Height of 1,670 m (5,480 ft) and estimated age of 500,000 years. Giant Pololu landslide 250,000-300,000 years ago catastrophically removed much of northeast flank: 20 km (12 miles) of shoreline, 1 km (0.6 miles) of elevation), and distributed the debris 130 km (78 miles) onto the sea floor.
Kumukahi
Name given to several persons from Hawaii folklore, literally "first beginning". Easternmost cape on Big Island, delineates the subaerial end of Kilauea's East Rift Zone.
Lae’apuki
Coastal entry point of Pu'u O'o eruption for many years. Location of one of the largest bench collapses during the eruption that killed one person and injured several. Literally, "short point."
Loihi Seamount
Youngest expresssion of the Hawaiian hot spot; located 35 km (21 miles) off the southern coast of the Big Island, rising 3080 m (9240 ft) high to within 1100 m (3300 ft) of the sea surface. Summit about 6 km (3.6 miles) across, containing a caldera and several pit craters. Hydrothermal activity and fresh basaltic glass have been recovered on Loihi indicating recent submarine volcanic activity. Earthquake swarms occurring annually since 1971 suggest major submarine eruptions or magmatic intrusions analogous to processes occurring along subaerial Hawaiian rift zones. The 1996 swarm activity consisted of over 4000 located events, and resulted in the creation of a 100 m (300 ft) wide pit crater.
Mähukona
Extinct volcano on the northwest (leeward) coast of the Big Island that emerged 800,000 years ago, growing to 235 m (770 ft), before subsiding at 2.4 mm/yr (0.1 inches/year) to its present depth of 1,335 m (4380 ft) after volcanism ceased; literally, "leeward steam."
Maui
Second largest (80 km (48 miles) long, 43 km (26 miles) wide) island in state and home of dormant Haleakala volcano. Estimated age of 1 million years. 1995 estimated population of 105,000. Named for the demigod Maui
Mauna
Literally, "mountain."
Mauna Iki
Cone along Kilauea's Southwest Rift Zone, literally "little mountain".
Mauna Ke’a
Highest mountain in Hawaii'i at 4205 m (13,796 ft) above sea level, literally, "white mountain" as its summit is often snow-capped during the winter months. Mauna Ke'a is a dormant volcano having last erupted about 4,500 years ago; estimated age of 1 million years. There are no pronounced rift zones.
Mauna Loa
Second highest mountain in Hawai'i, and largest single mountain mass on Earth, rising 4169 m (13,677 ft) above sea level and about 8840 m (29,000 ft) above the ocean floor. Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984 along its northeast rift zone, and lava reached to within 6.5 km (4 miles) of Hilo. Summit crater is known as Moku'aweoweo, and has two rift zones: Northeast and Southwest. Literally, "long mountain." Estimated age of 1 million years.
Mauna Ulu
Cone that formed in the Kilauea East Rift Zone eruptions of the 1960s and 1972-74, literally "growing mountain". Height 121 m (363 ft).
Moku’äweoweo
Elongate, 3 km (1.8 miles) by 5 km (3 miles), 183 m deep, summit caldera of Mauna Loa estimated to have formed by collapse 600-750 years ago; literally, moku is an islet, and 'aweoweo fish section (the red of the fish suggests volcanic fires). 
Moloka’i
One of the eight major islands that make up the State of Hawaii. Moloka'i is 68 km (38 miles) long, 17 km (10 miles) wide, with a 1995 estimated population of 6700 people. Much of the northern half of the island slid catastrophically into the ocean during a landslide event (Wailau slide); up to 13,000 square kilometers of debris cover 200 km (120 miles) of adjacent sea floor based on side scan sonar mapping in the 1980's. 
Näpau
Pit crater 15 km (9 miles) from the summit along Kilauea's East Rift Zone formed during eruptions in 1963 and 1965, literally, "the endings."
Ninole Hills
Believed to be a landslide scar resulting from the great 1868 magnitude 7.8 earthquake, the largest recorded earthquake in Hawaiian history; literally, "bending."  
Pähoa
Town in Puna district.
Pali
Literally, "cliff". The Nuuanu Pali on the windward island of Oahu, was formed during a catastrophic landslide event (Nuuanu slide); 23,000 square kilometers (4680 square miles) of debris cover 235 km (141 miles) of adjacent sea floor based on side scan sonar mapping in the 1980's.
Pohoiki
Boat ramp on on southeast of Cape Kumakahi that is nearest to Puna Ridge; literally, small depression (Pele is said to have dug a crater here). 
Puna
Literally, a "spring (of water)."
Pu’u
Literally, "hill".
Pu’u Huluhulu
A 500 year old cone along Kilauea's East Rift Zone which commands excellent views downrift. Literally, "shaggy hill". 
Pu’u ‘Ö’ö
Name of the current active eruption of Kilauea Volcano, and named after a volcanic cone that was built during its initial phases. Longest lasting single eruption in Hawaiian recorded history; current eruption began in January, 1983 in Napau Crater, moved downrift within hours, eventually building a cone 250 m high. The Kupainaha lava pond was active from 1986 to 1993, and the current eruption consists primarily of lava channels and tubes which emanate from Pu'u O'o and travel downhill over 10 km (6 miles) where they erupt into the ocean. During the eruption several subdivisions, and the National Park's Wahaula Visitor center were destroyed. Literally, "hill of the oo" (a species of native bird, a black honey eater, that is now extinct).
Pu’u Wa’awa’a
Cone on Hualalai volcano with distinctive chemical composition. Very viscous lava erupted here almost like a plug.