Rose Atoll

[ Bathymetry | Backscatter | Optical Validation | Geomorphology ]

3D image of Rose Atoll bathymetry.

A 3D visualization of the bathymetry around Rose Atoll reveals its steep geomorphology. (Click on it to open a larger version.)

Rose Atoll, the easternmost of the islands of the U.S. Territory of American Samoa, lies about 300 km east of Tutuila. The atoll is administered jointly by the Government of American Samoa and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a National Wildlife Refuge. Rose consists of two small, uninhabited islets about 6 hectares (~15 acres) in total size. The mapping conducted at Rose in 2006 revealed the absence of any shallow surrounding bank and extremely steep slopes that descend to oceanic depths less than half a kilometer offshore.By entering the inner lagoon by one narrow channel on the north side of the atoll, CRED used the R/V AHI to map the detailed lagoon bottom, reaching a maximum depth of about 30 meters.

Click thumbnail maps below to explore PIBHMC’s data sets.


Go to Rose Atoll bathymetry page.


Go to Rose Atoll backscatter page.



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4m Ikonos satellite image of Rose Atoll with lagoon bathymetry.

Rose Atoll’s lagoon reaches a depth of about 30 m. Here the bathymetry is overlain on 4m Ikonos satellite imagery. (Click on it to open a larger version.)

The first Westerner to discover Rose Atoll was Louis de Freycinety in 1819, who named it for his wife. It was later named Kordinkoff Island when Otto von Kotzebue thought he was its first discoverer in 1824. In 1838, Dumont D’Urville noted its piles of sand and green ground cover. The first landing on Rose Islet was by the U.S. Exploring Expedition in 1839 when only 3 kinds of plants were observed. Captain Rantzau, a German, made several expeditions there; his observations were published in 1873 by Eduard Graeffe. In 1920, the naval governor of American Samoa erected a concrete monument to note his visit and allow public access. He planted the first coconut trees. In 1941, President Roosevelt made the atoll a Naval defense area, restricting foreign traffic.