Pacific Atolls: A World Apart
Atolls are low islands made from biogenic detritus that are scattered across the low-latitude Pacific Ocean. Atolls mark places where reef-fringed volcanic islands were once emerging but then sank slowly allowing the reef to continue growing at the ocean surface, finally forming an atoll. Owing to their low elevation and mostly soft-sediment composition, atolls are among the most vulnerable island environments on Earth. Some may disappear during this century as a result of sea-level rise.
KeywordsAtoll coral reef island ocean Pacific
- Darwin CR (1842) The structure and distribution of coral reefs. Smith, Elder, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Duncan RA, Clague DA (1985) Pacific plate motions recorded by linear volcanic chains. In: Nairn AEM, Stehli FG, Uyeda S (eds) The Ocean Basins and Margins, Vol 7A, The Pacific. Plenum Press, New York, pp 89–121Google Scholar
- McLean RF, Hosking PL (1991) Geomorphology of reef islands and atoll motu in Tuvalu. South Pacific J Nat Sci 11:167–189Google Scholar
- Nunn PD (1994) Oceanic islands. Blackwell, OxfordGoogle Scholar