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The Hawaiian Islands are formed through the volcanic activity of a hotspot in the main Pacific tectonic plate. As the plate has moved, magma has risen through a stationary hotspot in the the plate, thus forming a chain of volcanoes on the surface. The lava flowing from the volcanoes creates volcanic islands over the course of millions of years. Hawaii is made up of numerous small islands with about six major islands comprising most of the land and population. Hawaii (also called the Big Island) is the island still forming with an active volcano and is only about 0.5 million years old. Maui is about 1.3 million years old and Oahu (with the capital of Honolulu) is about 3.4 million years old.
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