Palau Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Palau?

Overview:

The Republic of Palau consists of over 300 islands (9 of which are inhabited) divided into 16 states. Formerly known as the Western Caroline Islands, the Palauan chain stretches about 400 miles from a north latitude of 7 degrees and 20 minutes to a southwestern latitude of 3 degrees and 30 minutes. Palau is 550 miles directly east of the Philippine island of Mindanao. Guam is 815 miles to the northeast and Hawaii is 4,600 miles east.

The total land area is 188 square miles. Approximately 78% of this is the island of Babeldaob, the second largest island in the Micronesian Pacific after Guam. Geologically, Palau varies from Kayangel atoll in the north, to islands of volcanic origin in the center and the famous limestone "Rock Islands" further south. Over 350 miles from Koror to the south are the seldom visited, sparsely populated "Southwest" islands.

Koror is spread over three islands connected by causeways and bridges. A recently constructed 412 meter suspension bridge connects Koror to Babeldaob where the international airport is located. Much of the coastline around Koror is mangrove forest, and there are no natural sand beaches in Koror. Babeldaob, Koror, and the Rock Islands are protected by an outer reef several miles from shore. South of the Rock Islands are the populated islands of Peleliu and Angaur, sites of intensive fighting during World War II.

Geography - note:

westernmost archipelago in the Caroline chain, consists of six island groups totaling more than 300 islands; includes World War II battleground of Beliliou (Peleliu) and world-famous rock islands

Climate:

Palau has a tropical climate with annual rainfall of about 150 inches. The climate tends to be drier during El Nino years. Rain falls throughout the year, though January through March are usually the driest months. Palau is outside the normal typhoon track, but from June to November a tropical storm can settle over the country and dump heavy amounts of rain for several days. The temperature averages range from a high of 87 degrees to a low of 77 degrees year round. Humidity is high, ranging from 86% to 91%, and non-air conditioned environments can get moldy. Air quality is excellent and free of pollutants.

Palau Use of Natural Resources

Palau Environment

Climate:

Palau has a tropical climate with annual rainfall of about 150 inches. The climate tends to be drier during El Nino years. Rain falls throughout the year, though January through March are usually the driest months. Palau is outside the normal typhoon track, but from June to November a tropical storm can settle over the country and dump heavy amounts of rain for several days. The temperature averages range from a high of 87 degrees to a low of 77 degrees year round. Humidity is high, ranging from 86% to 91%, and non-air conditioned environments can get moldy. Air quality is excellent and free of pollutants.

Terrain:

varying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs

Natural Resources:

forests, minerals (especially gold), marine products, deep-seabed minerals

Natural Hazards:

typhoons (June to December)

Environmental Issues:

inadequate facilities for disposal of solid waste; threats to the marine ecosystem from sand and coral dredging, illegal fishing practices, and overfishing

Environment - International Agreements:

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

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Palau Geography

Geographic Location Oceania
Total Area 177 Square Miles
459 Square Kilometers
Land Area 177 Square Miles
459 Square Kilometers
Coastline 944 Miles
1,519 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 7 30 N, 134 30 E
Terrain varying geologically from the high, mountainous main island of Babelthuap to low, coral islands usually fringed by large barrier reefs
Highest Point 242 Meters
Highest Point Location Mount Ngerchelchuus 242 m
Lowest Point Location Pacific Ocean 0 m
Natural Resources forests, minerals (especially gold), marine products, deep-seabed minerals
Time Zone UTC+9 (14 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
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