[Coral-List] Most remote / least impacted atoll?

Russell Kelley russellkelley at mac.com
Fri Aug 24 19:33:10 EDT 2007

Dear Coralisterers

I have enjoyed using Google Earth to view the atolls mentioned by  
Arthur in the current discussion of the "Mystery Event".

This set me wondering where to look to see an atoll with the least  
"impact" - w.r.t. roads / rows of coconut palms etc.

I like to use Google Earth to see examples of atolls showing entirely  
natural vegetation  / sediment patterns.

All suggestions welcome.



Russell Kelley
russellkelley at mac.com

Writer, project manager, communication consultant.
P.O. Box 1859, Townsville, 4810, AUSTRALIA
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Skype: wireruss



On 24/08/2007, at 10:31 PM, Alan E. Strong wrote:

> http://mitgcm.org/news/agu_2004/fuckar_et_al.pdf
> Note this ASLO/AGU paper by our (Coral Reef Watch) Sea Grant Fellow  
> in 2004...Nevin Fuckar....as a possibly of oceanic heat source  
> transiting into a reef.
> Cheers,
> Al
> Arthur Webb wrote:
>> Gene and others - thanks for your thoughts,
>> Gene indeed "looking up" as you indicate may be a component of the  
>> issue in the Maldives due to there geographic location but is  
>> highly unlikely re the Kiribati phenomena.  And for those that  
>> don't know these islands check Google Earth - 0 23'35.05" N 173  
>> 52'39.50"E (Abemama) and 0 39'05.54"S 174 20"00.35" E (Nonouti)  
>> they're a long way from Asia and also "upwind" if you like.   
>> (Incidentally, these are excellent high res. images and really let  
>> you get a feel for these magnificent environments).
>> Bob, thanks also for your comments which are instructive, again  
>> some may apply to Maldives event but I'll leave Don to comment  
>> further as I have no personal experience in the Maldives.   
>> However, I don't know that they all fit with the Kiribati event.   
>> I'm unconvinced with regards to direct human disturbance (these  
>> Islands must surely be some of the most pristine on the planet and  
>> these communities among the last on Earth who still live in a  
>> sustainable balance with their environment).  As for rainfall and  
>> tide, I've spent some 10 years working throughout these islands  
>> I've seen some of the highest tides on record and heaviest  
>> rainfall but have never heard or seen a fish kill associated with  
>> these natural phenomena.  Also in terms of the hydrology these  
>> floating freshwater lens are presumably quite restricted in the  
>> depth they can penetrate down since the islands are so narrow and  
>> most importantly the land surface is very low (on average about 1m  
>> above high tide) this restricts the volume of freshwater which can  
>> be "held" irrespective of recharge rates as heavy rain simply  
>> results in surface ponding and even surface runoff in extreme  
>> cases.  Additionally, I can't help but think we should expect to  
>> hear stories from the local communities if heavy rainfall and / or  
>> high tides produced fish kills as these oceanic and atmospheric  
>> phenomena occur relatively regularly.  Otherwise, I can't think  
>> what could possibly allow the quick release of sufficient volumes  
>> of anoxic fresh water into the neighboring marine environment  
>> which was adequate to cause a wide spread (several kilometers of  
>> coast) kills on these high energy, deep oceanic drop offs?
>> I guess so far, that leaves the most likely candidates as either  
>> an unusual deep cold / anoxic upwelling or as John McManus  
>> indicates perhaps the other way, an unusually warm pool of surface  
>> water forming around or moving past these islands (I must admit I  
>> hadn't thought it possible for water to heat to this extent in the  
>> deep open ocean environment - coral bleaching maybe but how  
>> extreme would conditions have to be to kill fish in such  
>> environments?! - there is obviously no routine direct measurement  
>> of even basic WQ parameters on these remote islands but if I can  
>> find time I'll see what information I can pull together re the  
>> regional weather and surface conditions around Dec '03 - perhaps  
>> our NOAA friends could help?).
>> Anyway it's an interesting one,
>> Thanks to all,
>> Arthur
>> Gene Shinn wrote:
>>> Dear Arthur, It just may be that everyone is looking down  at the  
>>> "usual suspects." The cover story in the 2, August 2007 issue of  
>>> Nature (see 575) describes what is happening above the Maldives.  
>>> Gene
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> -- 
> **** <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< ******* Alan E.  
> Strong, Ph.D.
> NOAA Coral Reef Watch, Senior Consultant
> National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
> NOAA Coral Reef Watch Program
>  e-mail: Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov
> url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov
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