A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.
|Native name: |
|Area||503.28 km2 (194.32 sq mi)|
|Largest Island settlement||Kiritimati (pop. 6,447)|
|Status|| unincorporated (Kingman Reef, and Jarvis Island)|
Incorporated (Palmyra Atoll)
The Line Islands, Teraina Islands or Equatorial Islands, is a chain of atolls (with partially or fully enclosed lagoons) and coral islands (with a surrounding reef). Kingman Reef is largely submerged and Filippo Reef is shown on some maps, although its existence is doubted. The islands were formed by volcanic activity and are located in the central Pacific Ocean, south of the Hawaiian Islands. The 11 islands stretch for 2,350 kilometres (1,460 miles) in a northwest–southeast direction, making it one of the longest island chains of the world. Eight of the islands form part of Kiribati, while the remaining three (Kingman Reef, Palmyra Island and Jarvis Island) are United States territories grouped with the United States Minor Outlying Islands. Only Kiritimati and Tabuaeran atolls and Teraina Island have a permanent population.
An atoll, sometimes called a coral atoll, is a ring-shaped coral reef including a coral rim that encircles a lagoon partially or completely. There may be coral islands or cays on the rim. The coral of the atoll often sits atop the rim of an extinct seamount or volcano which has eroded or subsided partially beneath the water. The lagoon forms over the volcanic crater or caldera while the higher rim remains above water or at shallow depths that permit the coral to grow and form the reefs. For the atoll to persist, continued erosion or subsidence must be at a rate slow enough to permit reef growth upward and outward to replace the lost height.
A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by barrier islands or reefs. Lagoons are commonly divided into coastal lagoons and atoll lagoons. They have also been identified as occurring on mixed-sand and gravel coastlines. There is an overlap between bodies of water classified as coastal lagoons and bodies of water classified as estuaries. Lagoons are common coastal features around many parts of the world.
A coral island is a type of island formed from coral detritus and associated organic material. They occur in tropical and sub-tropical areas, typically as part of coral reefs which have grown to cover a far larger area under the sea.
The International Date Line passes through the Line Islands. The Line Islands that are part of Kiribati are in the world's farthest forward time zone, UTC+14:00. The time of day is the same as in the U.S. state of Hawaii, but the date is one day ahead. The time is 1 day and 2 hours ahead of some other islands in Oceania like Baker Island, which uses UTC−12:00.
The International Date Line (IDL) is an imaginary line of demarcation on the surface of Earth that runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and demarcates the change of one calendar day to the next. It passes through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, roughly following the 180° line of longitude but deviating to pass around some territories and island groups.
A time zone is a region of the globe that observes a uniform standard time for legal, commercial, and social purposes. Time zones tend to follow the boundaries of countries and their subdivisions because it is convenient for areas in close commercial or other communication to keep the same time.
UTC+14:00 is an identifier for a time offset from UTC of +14:00. This is the earliest time zone on Earth, meaning that areas in this zone are the first to see a new day, and therefore the first to celebrate a New Year. Consequently, it is also referred to as the "latest time zone" on Earth, as clocks in it would always show the 'latest' time of all time zones.
Most 18th-century visitors to these isles overlooked the tell-tale signs of former Polynesian settlement. This is true of Captain Cook, who landed on Kiritimati (Christmas Is) in 1777, and Captain Fanning during his visits to Teraina (Washington Is) and Tabuaeran (Fanning Atoll) in 1798. Archaeologists have since identified remains of coral marae platforms and/or village complexes on all three – also on Malden, Millennium Atoll and Flint Island. These remains are dateable as far back as the 14th century, and show that the inhabitants of the Line Islands were more than just castaways. [ better source needed ]
Whaling ships were regular visitors to the islands in the 19th century, in search of water, wood and provisions. The first recorded visit was by the whaler Coquette to Christmas Island (Kiritimati) in 1822.The islands of Fanning and Washington were annexed as part of the British Colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in 1916, followed in 1919 by the similar annexation of Christmas Island. However, these annexations were contested by the government of the United States, citing its Guano Islands Act of 1856, which allowed for very wide-ranging territorial claims. The latter claims persisted until relinquished under the Treaty of Tarawa, which recognised Kiribati's sovereignty over the majority of the Line Islands chain. In the meantime, the Line Islands featured briefly in biennial reports furnished by the Colony's resident commissioner to the Colonial Office and Parliament in London (e.g., see the 1966 and 1967 report ).
Whaling is the hunting of whales for their usable products such as meat and blubber, which can be turned into a type of oil which became increasingly important in the Industrial Revolution. It was practiced as an organized industry as early as 875 AD. By the 16th century, it had risen to be the principal industry in the coastal regions of Spain and France. The industry spread throughout the world, and became increasingly profitable in terms of trade and resources. Some regions of the world's oceans, along the animals' migration routes, had a particularly dense whale population, and became the targets for large concentrations of whaling ships, and the industry continued to grow well into the 20th century. The depletion of some whale species to near extinction led to the banning of whaling in many countries by 1969, and to a worldwide cessation of whaling as an industry in the late 1980s. The earliest forms of whaling date to at least circa 3000 BC. Coastal communities around the world have long histories of subsistence use of cetaceans, by dolphin drive hunting and by harvesting drift whales. Industrial whaling emerged with organized fleets of whaleships in the 17th century; competitive national whaling industries in the 18th and 19th centuries; and the introduction of factory ships along with the concept of whale harvesting in the first half of the 20th century. By the late 1930s more than 50,000 whales were killed annually. In 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial whaling because of the extreme depletion of most of the whale stocks.
Kiritimati or Christmas Island is a Pacific Ocean raised coral atoll in the northern Line Islands. It is part of the Republic of Kiribati. Its name is a respelling of the English word "Christmas" according to the Kiribati language's conventions for the Latin script, in which the combination ti is pronounced s, and the name is thus pronounced.
On September 20, 1979, representatives of the newly independent Republic of Kiribati and of the United States met in Tarawa to sign a treaty of friendship between the two nations, known as the Treaty of Tarawa. More formally, the treaty is entitled, "Kiribati, Treaty of Friendship and Territorial Sovereignty, September 20, 1979"; and subtitled "Treaty of Friendship Between the United States of America and the Republic of Kiribati". In this treaty, the U.S. acknowledged Kiribati sovereignty over fourteen islands. The treaty was approved by the U.S. Senate on June 21, 1983. The treaty came into force on September 23, 1983, by the exchange of the instruments of ratification, which took place at Suva, Fiji. This, together with British cessation of claims, ended the Canton and Enderbury Islands Condominium, which had begun under the terms of the Guano Islands Act. In Art. 3 the US have reserved the right to maintain military bases on the Islands of Canton, Enderbury or Hull.
The group is geographically divided into three subgroups; The Northern, Central, and Southern Line Islands. The Central Line Islands are sometimes grouped with the Southern Line Islands. The table below lists the islands from North to South.
|Northern Line Islands (Fanning's Group)|
|Kingman Reef||0.01||60||0||U.S. territory (unincorporated)|
|Palmyra Atoll||3.9||8||4||U.S. territory (incorporated)|
|Teraina (Washington Island)||9.55||2*||1,155||part of Kiribati|
|Tabuaeran (Fanning Island)||33.73||110||2,539||part of Kiribati|
|Kiritimati (Christmas Island)||388.39||217.61||5,115||part of Kiribati|
|Central Line Islands|
|Jarvis Island||5||—||0||U.S. territory (unincorporated)|
|Malden Island||39.3||13*||0||part of Kiribati|
|Filippo Reef||—||1.5||0||outside EEZ |
|Starbuck Island||16.2||4*||0||part of Kiribati|
|Southern Line Islands|
|Caroline Island||3.76||6.3||0||part of Kiribati|
|Vostok Island||0.24||—||0||part of Kiribati|
|Flint Island||3.2||0.01*||0||part of Kiribati|
* The lagoon areas marked with an asterisk are contained within the island areas of the previous column because they are, unlike in the case of a typical atoll, inland waters completely sealed off from the sea.
Kiritimati is the largest atoll in the world in terms of land area. The islands were annexed by the UK in 1888 with a view to laying the Pacific cable, with Tabuaeran (then Fanning Island) as a relay station. The cable was laid and was operational between 1902 and 1963 except for a short period in 1914.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was a sovereign state established by the Acts of Union 1800, which merged the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland.
The All Red Line was an informal name for the system of electrical telegraphs that linked much of the British Empire. It was inaugurated on 31 October 1902. The name derives from the common practice of colouring the territory of the British Empire red or pink on political maps.
Copra and "Petfish" are the main export products (with seaweed).
On December 23, 1994, the Republic of Kiribati announced a change of time zone for the Line Islands, to take effect December 31, 1994. This adjustment effectively moved the International Date Line over 1,000 kilometers (620 mi) to the east within Kiribati, placing all of Kiribati on the Asian or western side of the date line, despite the fact that Caroline's longitude of 150 degrees west corresponds to UTC−10 rather than its official time zone of UTC+14. Caroline Island now is at the same time as the Hawaiian Islands (Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time Zone), but one day ahead. This move made Caroline Island both the easternmost land in the earliest time zone (by some definitions, the easternmost point on Earth), and one of the first points of land which would see sunrise on January 1, 2000 — at 5:43 a.m., as measured by local time.
The stated reason for the move was a campaign promise of Kiribati President Teburoro Tito to eliminate the confusion of Kiribati straddling the Date Line and therefore being constantly in two different days. However, Kiribati officials were not reluctant to attempt to capitalize on the nation's new status as owners of the first land to see sunrise in 2000.Other Pacific nations, including Tonga and New Zealand's Chatham Islands, protested the move, objecting that it infringed on their claims to be the first land to see dawn in the year 2000.
In 1999, in order to further capitalize upon the massive public interest in celebrations marking the arrival of the year 2000, Caroline Island was officially renamed Millennium Island. Although uninhabited, a special celebration was held on the island, featuring performances by Kiribati native entertainers and attended by Kiribati president Tito.Over 70 Kiribati singers and dancers traveled to Caroline from the capital Tarawa, accompanied by approximately 25 journalists. The celebration, broadcast by satellite worldwide, had an estimated audience of up to one billion viewers.
Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is a sovereign state in Micronesia in the central Pacific Ocean. The permanent population is just over 110,000 (2015), more than half of whom live on Tarawa Atoll. The state comprises 32 atolls and reef islands and one raised coral island, Banaba. They have a total land area of 800 square kilometres (310 sq mi) and are dispersed over 3.5 million square kilometres.
The islands which now form the Republic of Kiribati have been inhabited for at least seven hundred years, and possibly much longer. The initial Micronesian population, which remains the overwhelming majority today, was visited by Polynesian and Melanesian invaders before the first European sailors visited the islands in the 17th century. For much of the subsequent period, the main island chain, the Gilbert Islands, was ruled as part of the British Empire. The country gained its independence in 1979 and has since been known as Kiribati.
This article describes the geography of the Republic of Kiribati. Kiribati consists of 32 atolls and one island scattered over all four hemispheres in an expanse of ocean equivalent in size to the continental United States. The islands lie roughly halfway between Hawaii and Australia in the Micronesian and Polynesian regions of the South Pacific. The three main island groupings are the Gilbert Islands, Phoenix Islands, and Line Islands. On 1 January 1995 Kiribati moved the International Date Line to include its easternmost islands and make it the same day throughout the country.
Malden Island, sometimes called Independence Island in the nineteenth century, is a low, arid, uninhabited atoll in the central Pacific Ocean, about 39 km2 (15 sq mi) in area. It is one of the Line Islands belonging to the Republic of Kiribati. The lagoon is entirely enclosed by land, however it is connected to the sea by underground channels, and is quite salty.
The Gilbert and Ellice Islands were a British protectorate from 1892 and colony from 1916 until 1 January 1976, when the islands were divided into two colonies which became independent nations shortly after. A referendum was held in December 1974 to determine whether the Gilbert Islands and Ellice Islands should each have their own administration. As a consequence of the referendum, the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony ceased to exist on 1 January 1976 and the separate countries of Kiribati and Tuvalu came into existence.
Tabuaeran or Tahanea, known in English as Fanning Atoll, is an atoll that is part of the Line Islands of the central Pacific Ocean and part of Kiribati. The land area is 33.73 square kilometres, and the population in 2010 was 1,960. The maximum elevation is about 3 m (10 ft) above high tide.
Tamana is the smallest island in the Gilbert Islands. It is accessible both by boat and by air with Air Kiribati and Coral Sun Airways
Butaritari is an atoll in the Pacific Ocean island nation of Kiribati. The atoll is roughly four-sided. The south and southeast portion of the atoll comprises a nearly continuous islet. The atoll reef is continuous but almost without islets along the north side. Bikati and Bikatieta islets occupy a corner of the reef at the extreme northwest tip of the atoll. Small islets are found on reef sections between channels on the west side. The lagoon of Butaritari is deep and can accommodate large ships, though the entrance passages are relatively narrow. It is the most fertile of the Gilbert Islands, with relatively good soils and high rainfall. Butaritari atoll has a land area of 13.49 km2 (5.21 sq mi) and a population of 4,346 as of 2010. During World War II, Butaritari was known by US forces as Makin Atoll, and was the site of the Battle of Makin. Locally, Makin is the name of a separate atoll three kilometers to the northeast of Butaritari.
Starbuck Island is an uninhabited coral island in the central Pacific, and is part of the Central Line Islands of Kiribati. Former names include "Barren Island", "Coral Queen Island", "Hero Island", "Low Island", and "Starve Island".
Caroline Island or Caroline Atoll, is the easternmost of the uninhabited coral atolls which comprise the southern Line Islands in the central Pacific Ocean.
Teraina or Teeraina, also known as Washington Island is a coral atoll in the central Pacific Ocean and part of the Northern Line Islands which belong to Kiribati. Obsolete names of Teeraina are Prospect Island and New York Island. The island is located approximately 4.71° North latitude and 160.76° West longitude. Teeraina differs from most other atolls in the world in that it has a large freshwater lake, concealed within its luxuriant coconut palm forest; this is the only permanent freshwater lake in the whole of Kiribati.
UTC−10:00 is an identifier for a time offset from UTC of −10:00. This time is used in Hawaii, Alaska, French Polynesia, and the Cook Islands (CKT)
Beru Island is an island in the Kingsmill Group of the South Gilbert Islands in the Pacific Ocean, part of the Republic of Kiribati. Beru was previously known as Eliza, Francis Island, Maria, Peroat, Peru Island or Sunday.
Maiana is an atoll in Kiribati and is one of the Central Gilbert Islands. Maiana is 44 kilometres (27 mi) south of the capital island of South Tarawa and has a population of 2,027 as of 2010. The northern and eastern sides of the atoll are a single island, whilst the western edge consists of submerged reefs and many uninhabited islets, all surrounding a lagoon. The atoll is 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) long and is very narrow, with an average width of less than 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) and a total land area of 16.72 square kilometres (6.46 sq mi).
Nikunau is a low coral atoll in the Gilbert Islands and forms a council district of the Republic of Kiribati. It consists of two parts,, joined by an isthmus about 150 metres (490 ft) wide.
Onotoa is an atoll and district of Kiribati. It is situated in the Gilbert Islands in the Pacific Ocean, 65 km (40 mi) from Tamana, the smallest island in the Gilberts. The population of Onotoa in the 2010 census was 1,519.
Makin is the name of a chain of islands located in the Pacific Ocean island nation of Kiribati. Makin is the northernmost of the Gilbert Islands, with a population of 1,798.