Three Brothers, Chagos

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Seabirds nesting on South Brother island in the Three Brothers group Seabirds nesting on South Brother island in the Chagos Archipelago.jpg
Seabirds nesting on South Brother island in the Three Brothers group

The Three Brothers are a group of three small coral islands 20 kilometres (12 miles) east of Eagle Islands along the central western rim of the Great Chagos Bank, which is the world's largest coral atoll structure, located in the Chagos Archipelago.

Island Any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water

An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, and a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands, such as the Philippines, is referred to as an archipelago.

Eagle Islands island group

Eagle Islands is a group of two islands in the Chagos Archipelago. They are located on the central-western rim of the Great Chagos Bank, which is the world's largest coral atoll structure.

Great Chagos Bank island group

The Great Chagos Bank, in the Chagos Archipelago, about 500 km (310 mi) south of the Maldives, is the largest atoll structure in the world, with a total area of 12,642 km2 (4,881 sq mi). The atoll is administered by the United Kingdom through the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).

Contents

Islands

The individual islands are, from north-west to south-east:

North Brother (Chagos Bank)

North Brother, also known as Île du Nord, is a round 6 ha coral island on the Great Chagos Bank atoll of the Chagos Archipelago in the British Indian Ocean Territory. It is one of the three islands in the Three Brothers group on the western side of the atoll, and forms part of the Chagos Archipelago strict nature reserve. It has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because of its significance as a breeding site for 20,000 seabirds, notably Audubon's shearwaters of which 420 pairs were recorded in a 2004 survey.

Middle Brother (Chagos Bank) island in the British Indian Ocean Territory

Middle Brother, also known as Île du Milieu, is an 8-hectare coral island on the Great Chagos Bank atoll of the Chagos Archipelago in the British Indian Ocean Territory. It is one of the three islands in the Three Brothers group on the western side of the atoll, and forms part of the Chagos Archipelago strict nature reserve. It has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for its significance as a breeding site for seabirds, notably sooty terns, of which 12,500 pair were recorded in a 2004 survey.

South Brother (Chagos Bank) Coral island

South Brother, also known as Île du Sud, is a 23 ha coral island on the Great Chagos Bank atoll of the Chagos Archipelago in the British Indian Ocean Territory. It is one of the three islands in the Three Brothers group on the western side of the atoll, and forms part of the Chagos Archipelago strict nature reserve. It has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because of its significance as a breeding site for seabirds, including brown noddies and lesser noddies.

History

In 1975 during the Joint Services Expedition to Danger Island (JSDI). The expedition members were taken by RFA Resurgent to Eagle Islands and then by ketch and inflatable craft to Danger Island and then to Three Brothers. The expedition made a topographical survey of the coral reefs, an ecological survey of the corals on it and a study on the metabolism of the reef. [1] A reference collection of samples of the flora and fauna of the area was also undertaken. [2] Small, rocky, Resurgent Island emerged after the naming of the Three Brothers and was named after the RFA Resurgent which supported the 1975 Danger Island scientific research expedition to the area.

Danger Island, Great Chagos Bank island

Danger Island is the westernmost and the southernmost island of the Great Chagos Bank, which is the world's largest coral atoll structure, located in the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean.

Ketch type of sailing boat

A ketch is a two-masted sailboat whose mainmast is taller than the mizzen mast, generally 40-foot or bigger. The name ketch is derived from catch. The ketch's main mast is usually stepped in the same position as a sloop.

Since 1998 the islands are part of the Chagos Archipelago Strict Nature Reserve and it is forbidden to land on the islands or anchor a boat nearby. The islands have large populations of nesting seabirds. [3]

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RFA <i>Resurgent</i> (A280)

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RFA <i>Gold Ranger</i> (A130)

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Chagos Archipelago Archipelago in the Indian Ocean

The Chagos Archipelago or Chagos Islands are a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean about 500 kilometres (310 mi) south of the Maldives archipelago. This chain of islands is the southernmost archipelago of the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge, a long submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean.

Peros Banhos archipelago

Peros Banhos, Pedro dos Banhos or Baixos de Pêro dos Banhos in old maps, is a formerly inhabited atoll in the Chagos Archipelago of the British Indian Ocean Territory. Île Yeye, located at the northeastern corner of the atoll, is the island of the Chagos Archipelago that is closest to the Maldives.

Geography of the British Indian Ocean Territory

The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) is an archipelago of 55 islands in the Indian Ocean, located south of India. It is situated approximately halfway between Africa and Indonesia. The islands form a semicircular group with an open sea towards the east. The largest, Diego Garcia, is located at the southern extreme end. It measures 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi) and accounts for almost three-quarters of the total land area of the territory. Diego Garcia is the only inhabited island and is home to the joint UK-US naval support facility. Other islands within the archipelago include Danger Island, Three Brothers Islands, Nelson Island, and Peros Banhos, as well as the island groups of the Egmont Islands, Eagle Islands, and the Salomon Islands.

Saint Brandon, also known as the Cargados Carajos Shoals, is an Indian Ocean archipelago about 430 kilometres (270 mi) northeast of Mauritius consisting of a number of sand banks, shoals and islets. Saint Brandon consists of five island groups, with about 28–40 islands and islets in total, depending on seasonal storms and related sand movements. There are 22 named islands and shoals. The archipelago is low-lying and is prone to substantial submersion in severe weather. It has an aggregate land area estimated variously at 1.3 km2 (0.50 sq mi) and 500 acres (2.0 km2). Economic activity in the region is limited to fishing on the very extensive shallow bank covering approximately 900 sq mi (2,300 km2) around the islands. By the early 19th century, most of the islands were in use as fishing stations. Geographically, the archipelago is part of the Mascarene Islands and is situated on the Mascarene Plateau formed by the separation of the Mauritia microcontinent during the separation of India and Madagascar about 60 million years ago.

Egmont Islands Archipelago

The Egmont Islands or Egmont Atoll, also known as Six Iles, is an uninhabited atoll administered by the United Kingdom. They are one of the few emerged coral atolls that make up the Chagos Archipelago, British Indian Ocean Territory.

Nelsons Island island

Nelson Island or Nelsons Island or Legour Island is the northernmost and the easternmost island of the Great Chagos Bank, which is the world's largest coral atoll structure, located in the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. The nearest neighbour is Île Boddam in the Salomon Islands.

Blenheim Reef island group

Blenheim Reef is a partly submerged atoll structure in the Chagos Archipelago, Indian Ocean. It includes the coral reef of Baxio Predassa in its southeastern rim, plus another completely submerged part. It is located in the northeastern part of the Chagos Archipelago. It measures almost eleven kilometres (north–south) by more than four kilometres (east–west), with a total area of 36.8 square kilometres, including the lagoon of 8.5 km², the difference being accounted for the mostly by the reef flat. Only on the eastern side, there are a few sand cays above the water. The largest of them is East Island, which is not quite 200 metres long and 70 metres wide. The other islands in the group are North, Middle and South. Only a few grasses grow on the island. The lagoon is up to 18 metres deep and encumbered with rock. The fringing coral reef has a wide passage in the southwest. The closest land is Takamaka Island in the Salomon Islands Atoll, about 20 kilometres to the southwest.

Benares Shoals mountain in Seychelles

Benares Shoals, or Benares Shoal, is a submerged coral reef, an isolated patch located at 5°15′S071°40′E, just 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) west-northwest of Île Pierre, the closest island of Peros Banhos atoll in the northern Chagos Archipelago. It measures about 3 kilometres (2 mi) east–west, with a width of about 700 metres (2,300 ft) and an area of 2 square kilometres (0.77 sq mi). The least depth at the western end is 4.5 metres (15 ft).

British Indian Ocean Territory Overseas territory of the United Kingdom

The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom situated in the Indian Ocean halfway between Tanzania and Indonesia, and directly south of the Maldives. The territory comprises the seven atolls of the Chagos Archipelago with over 1,000 individual islands – many very small – amounting to a total land area of 60 square kilometres (23 sq mi). The largest and most southerly island is Diego Garcia, 27 km2 (10 sq mi), the site of a joint military facility of the United Kingdom and the United States.

Sea Cow Island

Sea Cow Island, also known as Île Vache Marine, is a round 18 ha island on the Great Chagos Bank atoll of the Chagos Archipelago in the British Indian Ocean Territory. It was named after the dugongs that were once abundant in the area, although they have since become regionally extinct. It is the smaller of the two islands in the Eagle Islands group on the western side of the atoll and forms part of the Chagos Archipelago strict nature reserve. It has been identified as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International because of its significance as a breeding site for brown noddies, of which 11,500 pairs were recorded in a 2004 survey.

The Chagos Marine Protected Area, located in the central Indian Ocean in the British Indian Ocean Territory of the United Kingdom, is one of the world's largest marine protected areas, and one of the largest protected areas of any type on Earth. It was established by the British government on 1 April 2010 as a massive, contiguous, no-take marine reserve, it encompasses 640,000 square kilometres (250,000 sq mi) of ocean waters, including roughly 70 small islands and seven atolls of the Chagos Archipelago.

References

  1. Baldwin, EA (ed.) (1975), A report on the Joint Services Expedition to Danger Island in the central Indian Ocean, December 1974 to April 1975 Ministry of Defence Publication, London
  2. Chagos Islands coral collections
  3. 6: British Indian Ocean Territory

Coordinates: 06°09′S71°31′E / 6.150°S 71.517°E / -6.150; 71.517 (Three Brothers)

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

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.