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On this day in 1722, the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island.

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Easter Island fears over invasion of eclipse tourists

Easter Island authorities yesterday they were worried about a sudden invasion of thousands of tourists expected on July 11 this year to witness a rare total solar eclipse.
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New clues in Easter Island hat mystery
An archaeological team have come one step closer to unravelling the mystery of how the famous statues dotting the landscape of a tiny Pacific island acquired their distinctive red hats.
Dr Sue Hamilton from UCL and Dr Colin Richards from the University of Manchester are the first archaeologists ever to have excavated Easter Islands statue hat quarry, known to the locals as 'Puna Pau'.
Around 2,500 miles off the coast of Chile, Easter Island is the worlds most remote place inhabited by people. The team are the first British archaeologists to work on the island since 1914 and their discovery of a road and a ceremonial axe has thrown new light on the mystery of the statues.

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Title: Easter Island, SE Pacific: An end-member type of hotspot volcanism
Authors: Luigina Vezzoli1, and Valerio Acocella

Easter Island (Rapa Nui, Chile) is an intraoceanic volcanic island on the Easter hotspot, ~350 km E of the Eastern Pacific Rise. We match new field data with previously published age and petrochemical data to reconstruct the general evolution of the Island. This consists of three main volcanoes (Poike, Rano Kau, and the larger Terevaka), which experienced an overall similar and nearly coeval evolution, characterised by two periods: (1) buildup of a basaltic shield, culminating in the development of a summit caldera and the emission of more evolved highly porphyritic lavas (ca. 0.780.3 Ma); and (2) rifting along the shield flanks, by means of fissure eruptions (0.240.11 Ma). The trend of most eruptive fissures, NNE-SSW to NESW, appears to be controlled by the ~NE-SW elongated, emerged, and submerged morphology of the island. However, while the fissure-forming period at Rano Kau and Poike appears to be associated with reduced magma supply to the reservoir, at Terevaka it is characterised by the arrival of new basic magma, rejuvenating the system. The comparison to other intraoceanic volcanic islands suggests that, because of its tectonomagmatic features (low eruptive rate, scattered rift zones, and scarce lateral collapses), Easter Island represents an end-member type of hotspot volcano that is contrary to Hawaii, which represents the opposite end member.

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The authorities on Easter Island have detained a Finnish tourist on suspicion of trying to steal an earlobe of one of the world-famous moai stone statues.
Police on the Pacific island, which is an overseas territory of Chile, said a local saw the man tear off the earlobe, which then fell and broke into pieces.

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The giant stone statues of Easter Island have perplexed generations of archaeologists, engineers and scholars. Ever since European explorers first set eyes on them three centuries ago these carvings have presented a problem. How could the island's primitive inhabitants have erected such massive edifices each weighing many tons without the help of wheels, cranes, machines, metal tools or draft animals? The very existence of these giant heads on a barren outcrop of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean seemed to defy reason, if not the laws of physics.

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Satellite Imagery for Easter Island Statue Renovation Project
Called the Navel of the World, Easter Island is home to over a half-dozen volcanoes and more than 880 statues called Moai (pronounced mo-eye). Ranging from just a few feet to more than 30 feet tall, the enigmatic statues weigh up to 150 tons. They were formed from volcanic material from quarries on the slopes of the Rano Raraku volcano sometime after 300 AD. Lying in the easternmost Polynesian island situated on the Nazca Plate at a volcanic and tectonic hot spot. These statues of Rano Raraku majority of them were transported and erected for a variety of ceremonial structures called ahu. While nearly all of the moai face toward the interior of the island some of them face towards the ocean and a point on the horizon where the sun sets during the equinox.
The Ahu Naunau are shown in the IKONOS satellite image(top) and the Ahu Tongariki are show in the QuickBird image(bottom). Explorer, Captain James Cook gave the island its modern name in 1774.

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IKONOS- Easter Island - (Ahu Nau Nau Statues)

ik_easter_island_chili_06-dec-2003_copyrighted-copy.jpg

easter_is_tongariki_quickbird60cm_ecw_27-apr-2003_wgs84_utm12s_clip-copy.jpg

QuickBird - Easter Island (Ahu Tongariki Statues)

To view a map of Easter Island of Location of Moai Statues Click Here:
More on Easter Island



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