Maria (Maria Est)

Maria, Tuamotu Archipelago

Situated in the far southeastern regions of the Tuamotu Archipelago, Maria is a small atoll formation that is administratively linked to the Gambier Islands. Maria lies 163 km northwest from Mangareva and 72 km southwest from Marutea Sud; its closest neighbour is the small atoll of Matureivavao, located 56 km to the northwest. Situated in the Tubuai Islands, to the southeast, is another small atoll also known as Maria. Because of this, the Tuamotuan atoll is often referred to as Maria Est.

The atoll is oval-shaped, measuring 6 km in length (orientated north-northeast to south-southwest) and is up to 3.5 km in width, across the central regions. The rim of the atoll is topped by a series of well-vegetated motu that are separated from one another by spillways and narrow channels. All channels are shallow and do not cut through the reef rim.

image: earth sciences and image analysis laboratory, nasa johnson space center