Aleipata Islands

Apolima, Samoa

The 5 km² island of Apolima is located within the Apolima Strait — the 10 km wide stretch of water that separates the outer barrier reefs of Upolu (on the east) from Savai'i (on the west). Apolima lies at the eastern end of the strait, located 3 km northwest from Manono (inside the barrier reef of Upolu, at right-edge of the image) and 7 km southwest from Savai'i.

The island has the appearance of an upturned bowl, with steep-sided slopes rising to a flat interior plateau. Geologically, Apolima is a collapsed, volcanic tuff cone; a breach on the northern wall creates a small bay leading into the flat caldera floor where the island's sole settlement is located. The outer slopes of the island are generally devoid of vegetation and are actively eroding into the sea.

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