Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wake island : an isolated NOAA chart

81664 Wake Island, NOAA chart lost in the Pacific

Quite strange to find some isolated NOAA chart showing uninhabited Wake island (possession of the USA, claimed by Marshall Islands), a coral atoll in the north Pacific Ocean.

Located approximately 2,138 nautical miles west of Honolulu, Hawaii, Wake Atoll is the northernmost atoll in the Marshall Islands geological ridge and perhaps the oldest and northernmost living atoll in the world. 
The refuge includes 495,515 acres of submerged lands and waters surrounding Wake Atoll out to 12 nautical miles from the mean low water line of the islands.
- picture from CIA -

The US annexed Wake Island in 1899 for a cable station.
An important air and naval base was constructed in 1940-41.
In December 1941, the island was captured by the Japanese and held until the end of World War II.
In subsequent years, Wake was developed as a stopover and refueling site for military and commercial aircraft transiting the Pacific.

>>> geolocalization with the Marine GeoGarage <<<

Since 1974, the island's airstrip has been used by the US military, as well as for emergency landings. Operations on the island were suspended and all personnel evacuated in 2006 with the approach of super typhoon IOKE (category 5), but resultant damage was comparatively minor.

The atoll and surrounding waters out to 50 nautical miles from shore are part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, established by Presidential Proclamation 8336 on January 6, 2009.
photo : US Air Force

A US Air Force repair team restored full capability to the airfield and facilities, and the island remains a vital strategic link in the Pacific region.
Despite its small land and reef areas, the atoll provides important seabird and migratory shorebird habitat, as well as vibrant coral reefs that support large populations of fishes.
The atoll was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985 in recognition of its role in World War II.

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