Micronesia Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Micronesia?

Overview:

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) consist of four states—Yap, Chuuk (formerly Truk), Pohnpei (formerly Ponape), and Kosrae which cover 1 million square miles of the Central Pacific Ocean in the Caroline Islands chain. FSM's jagged borders stretch from 136°E to 166°E longitude (from Kosrae to Yap) and from just north of the Equator at Kapingamarangi Island to approximately 12°N of the Equator near Guam. Palikir, the capital, is located on Pohnpei Island at latitude 6°54'N, longitude 158°14'E.

"Micronesia" denotes "small islands," an apt description for the geography of the FSM, which has 607 islands, 65 of them inhabited. The total land area is a modest 270.8 square miles. Geologically, the FSM varies from high mountainous islands to low, coral atolls to volcanic outcroppings. Pohnpei Island, 13 miles in diameter and 129 square miles in area, includes almost half the FSM's land area. Pohnpei readily shows its volcanic origins with many hills and cliffs, as well as basalt outcroppings such as Sokeh's Rock, a striking landmark at the entrance to Kolonia Harbor.

Pohnpei is thickly forested, is rimmed by mangrove forests, and has a few man-made sandy beaches. Pohnpei is surrounded by a large lagoon with an outer barrier reef about 2 miles from shore. Within the lagoon are more than 25 volcanic and coral islands.

Geography - note:

four major island groups totaling 607 islands

Climate:

Pohnpei is one of the wettest spots on Earth, with an annual rainfall of about 200 inches a year in Kolonia and as much as 400 inches in the interior. Rain falls heavily throughout the year, though January through March are the least rainy months. Northeasterly trade winds blow most of the year, but damaging tropical storms generally bypass Pohnpei. The temperature averages 81°F year round. Evenings are mild, in the low 70s, and daytime temperatures seldom exceed the upper 80s. Humidity is high, averaging 89%, resulting in rapid growth of mildew and mold in non-air-conditioned environments. Air quality is excellent and free of pollutants.

Micronesia Use of Natural Resources

Micronesia Environment

Climate:

Pohnpei is one of the wettest spots on Earth, with an annual rainfall of about 200 inches a year in Kolonia and as much as 400 inches in the interior. Rain falls heavily throughout the year, though January through March are the least rainy months. Northeasterly trade winds blow most of the year, but damaging tropical storms generally bypass Pohnpei. The temperature averages 81°F year round. Evenings are mild, in the low 70s, and daytime temperatures seldom exceed the upper 80s. Humidity is high, averaging 89%, resulting in rapid growth of mildew and mold in non-air-conditioned environments. Air quality is excellent and free of pollutants.

Terrain:

islands vary geologically from high mountainous islands to low, coral atolls; volcanic outcroppings on Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Chuuk

Natural Resources:

forests, marine products, deep-seabed minerals

Natural Hazards:

typhoons (June to December)

Environmental Issues:

overfishing, climate change, pollution

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Micronesia Geography

Geographic Location Oceania
Total Area 271 Square Miles
702 Square Kilometers
Land Area 271 Square Miles
702 Square Kilometers
Coastline 3,798 Miles
6,112 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 6 55 N, 158 15 E
Terrain islands vary geologically from high mountainous islands to low, coral atolls; volcanic outcroppings on Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Chuuk
Highest Point 791 Meters
Highest Point Location Dolohmwar (Totolom) 791 m
Lowest Point Location Pacific Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources forests, marine products, deep-seabed minerals
Time Zone UTC+11 (16 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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