Mount Waialeale

is one of the shield volcanoes in the earth and said to be the wettest point of our universe. Located in center of the Hawaiian Island of Kauai U.S, Waialeale rises to an altitude of 5,148 feet or 1,569 meters and finally forms a dissect dome. The mountain is adversely affected by erosion and forms a part of a central mountain including Kawaikini, the highest peak of this island located in its southern with a height of over 5,243 feet. Caldera which has vanished and formed an Alakai Swamp plateau stands in its southeastern edge.

The summit of the Mt Waialeale is considered as the wettest spots of the world with average annual rainfall calculated to be 450 inches. But there is dramatic drop in rainfall count (10 inches) only a few miles away from this region. Deep canyons are carved in the flanks of the mountain due to deep faulting with water erosion. Waimea Canyon or the Little Grand Canyon’ of Hawaii is lies in the Mount Waialeale western end. There are three valleys that branch out in its northern end. They are Lumaha‘I, Wainiha and Hanalei.

There are several factors that are responsible for much precipitation in the summit of Waiʻaleʻale compared to the island chain. Firstly, the northern position of the mountain is exposed to the frontal systems much more than the main Hawaiian Islands which carry rain in winter months. The peak is steep that make the moisture-laden wind to ascend rapidly to above 3,000 feet in only 0.5 miles which forces to shed a large portion of the precipitation here instead of spreading in a larger area. Again the mountain is conical shape that is exposed to rain bearing winds on all its sides. Moreover, the peak is positioned under the 6,000 feet imaginary trade wind inversion layer above which these trade winds produce clouds. Due to heavy rainfall, there are numerous waterfalls that rush down the peak to feed the rivers in the area from all sides. The Waipo‘o Falls is the largest cascade of 245 meters.