3 Photos
Nukunonu is the largest of the three islands that comprise Tokelau. It is composed of a roughly tear-drop shaped atoll that includes 5.5 sq km of land and whose central lagoon encompasses an area of about 90 sq km. Image courtesy of NASA.
Fakaofo is one of the three islands that make up Tokelau. Its land area is only 3 sq km; the lagoon covers an area of about 45 sq km. Image courtesy of NASA.
At roughly 8 km (5 mi) wide, Atafu Atoll is the smallest of three atolls comprising Tokelau. Land area is only about 2.5 sq km and the lagoon's area is about 15 sq km. The primary settlement on Atafu is a village located at the northwestern corner of the atoll - indicated by an area of light gray dots in the left part of this photograph. The typical ring shape of the atoll is the result of coral reefs building up around a former volcanic island. Over geologic time, the central volcano subsided beneath the water surface, leaving the fringing reefs and a central lagoon that contains submerged coral reefs. Image courtesy of NASA.