Tahanea, Tuamotu Archipelago

Located in the Centre West Group, between the atolls of Faaite and Motutunga (12 km northwest and 17 km southeast, respectively), Tahanea is a large uninhabited atoll, measuring 48 km in length and 15 km in width. The south side of the atoll consists of a broad reef flat with a scattering of small motu. On the north side the reef is narrower and the reef islets longer and broader. In all, there are around 50 motu located around the 113 km long reef rim. The north side of the reef is broken by three deep passes that allow communication with the large (545 km²) and deep lagoon.

Unusually for the Tuamotu atolls. Tahanea contains a number of small vegetated islets within the central lagoon.

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

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