Blowhole Landforms

A Blowhole Landform

Blowhole Landforms Have 2 Main Characteristics:

  1. A small opening in the ground
  2. Connected to a cave or other opening that meets the ocean

Example of a Blowhole Landform:

Hummanaya Blowhole, Kudawella, Sri Lanka

What is a Blowhole Landform?

Sea caves along the shore can have an opening in the ground above. When waves enter the sea cave with sufficient force, water can travel upward with great pressure and escape through the opening. This can be somewhat like the blowhole of a whale coming to the surface for air and blowing out water to clear the airway.

A blowhole can also refer to an opening in the ground that is part of an underground system of caverns far from any body of water. A difference in pressure can cause air to escape from the hole.

How are Blowholes Formed?

Sea caves can grow when exposed to wave action. Sometimes a portion of the cave can grow upward until it creates an opening in the ground above. Lava flows can also create openings in the ground that extend seaward.

Where Can an Blowhole Be Found?

Blowholes that produce seawater are close to the ocean in a few various locations around the world. They are not commonly found in most areas of coastline.

Famous Blowholes

Nakalele Point, Maui Island, Hawaii, USA
Hummanaya Blowhole, Kudawella, Sri Lanka
Alofaaga Blowholes, Palauli District, Savai’i Island, Samoa

A blowhole exists on the island of Maui at Nakelele Point in Hawaii. Water can reach as high as 100 feet from the pressure generated when waves are strong. Several people have died when they were sucked in or fell into the blowhole as water returns again.

The second largest blowhole in the world, called Hummanaya, exists in a small fishing village of Sri Lanka. It generates a beautiful fountain of water as large waves come crashing in, sometimes reaching almost 100 feet in height. The Alofaaga Blowholes were created by lava flows on the island of Savai’i in Samoa.

Blowhole Definitions:

An opening in the ground connected to a cave or other opening that is exposed to strong waves, creating water pressure to produce fountains of water escaping upward through the hole
An opening in the ground connected to an underground system of caverns, producing air pressure that escapes upward through the hole.

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