Taiaro Atoll FP

First some facts about this small atoll. According to a 1994 Franco-Australian Expedition the lagoon contained within is hypersaline (real salty). Yet, it contains "a high diversity of fish". The theory is that high waves push ocean water into the lagoon bringing in zooplankton and other oceanic fish. In another article from this same expedition the zooplankton within the lagoon was found to be different from the zooplankton found in the ocean off-shore. This would seem to confirm that the lagoon is almost completely isolated from the ocean.

Due to it's uniqueness, Taiaro Atoll is part of the Tuamotu Biosphere Reserve. It, along with five other atolls within the Fakarava Municipality makeup this protected area. The above referenced link also contains a few photos from the atoll.

Finally, there is a copy of a report issued by the 1994 Franco-Australian Expedition that gives the curious reader detailed information about the closed life cycle for some coral fish within the Taiaro Lagoon.

This project took about six hours to complete. I elected to digitize using Google Earth/Digital Globe imagery at 1:1-meter. The resulting map is highly detailed and attempts to make accurate on-land layer determinations. The southern end of the atoll was the most challenging. The reef in this area is complex and difficult to determine whether features are above or below water. This is where "local knowledge" would serve to make the best final layer determinations. Perhaps one day I will make that trip to my mapped islands to provide that "local knowledge" my projects require. Until then, this will have to do.


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