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The hawaiian archipelago—located in the central Pacific—comprises eight larger and inhabited islands in the southernmost part, and other minor unpopulated islands, reefs and atolls, extended to the northwest along 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers). The inhabited islands are Ni'ihau, Kaua'i, O'ahu, Moloka'i, Lana'i, Kaho'olawe, Maui, and the island of Hawaii. The northwestern islands are Kure Atoll, Midway Atoll, Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Lisianski Island, Laysan Island, Maro Reef, Gardner Pinnacles, French Frigate Shoals, Necker Island (Mokumanamana), and Nihoa. The islands belong to the Hawaiian Ridge, a volcanic chain of seamounts, residuals of old volcanoes, or active volcanoes with a northwest-southeast direction. It was formed in the last 30 million years from an active hot spot approximately located in the island of Hawaii, which is the youngest ...

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