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Johnston Atoll, United States Minor Outlying Islands (USA)

May 12th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places
 
 

Johnston Atoll is a 130 km² atoll in the North Pacific Ocean at 16°45′N 169°31′WCoordinates: 16°45′N 169°31′W, about 1400 kilometers (750 nm) west of Hawaii. There are four islands located on the coral reef platform, two natural islands, Johnston Island and Sand Island, which have been expanded by coral dredging, as well as North Island (Akau) and East Island (Hikina), artificial islands formed from coral dredging.

The four islands comprise a total land mass of 2.67 km². Due to the atoll's tilt, much of the reef on the southeast portion has subsided. But even though it does not have an encircling reef crest, the reef crest on the northwest portion of the atoll does provide for a shallow lagoon, with depths ranging from 3-10 m.

Johnston is an unincorporated territory of the United States, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Interior as part of the United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges. For statistical purposes, Johnston Atoll is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands.

Its climate is tropical but generally dry. Northeast trade winds are consistent and there is little seasonal temperature variation. With elevation ranging from sea level to 5 m at Summit Peak, the islands contain some low-growing vegetation on mostly flat terrain and no natural fresh water resources.

The atoll was briefly listed as property for auction by the U.S. General Services Administration Office of Property Disposal in 2005. The listing was promptly withdrawn until a market analysis could be performed, and the land use restrictions and an environmental impact statement (as required by the US National Environmental Policy Act) could be developed. As of April 2006, the GSA representative responsible for the island indicated that it might be placed up for auction in the future, but "not anytime soon."

[Source: Wikipedia]

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