Carbonate Lagoon, Midway Atoll

ID 2193

Midway Atoll is located at the northwestern end of the Hawaiian Archipelago approximately 1,100 miles from Honolulu, Oahu and surprisingly only 1,300 miles from the Aleutian chain. Midway Atoll is approximately 6 miles in diameter and consists of two primary islands (Sand and Eastern). The atoll is surrounded by a reef, which consists of coralline algae and corals. Because of its more northerly latitude (28oN) the biologic diversity is significantly lower than on the main Hawaiian Islands. The lagoon has a maximum depth of approximately 75 feet. Test holes drilled by the USGS in the 1960's indicate that approximately 1,000 to 1,500 feet of Miocene to Recent carbonate rocks and sediments overlie the basaltic seamount. During the late 1990's, the atoll was transferred from the U.S. Navy to the U.S. Department of Interior as a National Wildlife Refuge.

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