Saipan Island (& Marpi Bank)
Saipan lies in the southern portion of CNMI at latitude 15 12’ N, longitude 145 45’E, 4.4 km north of Tinian Island. The island is approximately 20 km long and 9 km wide with an area of 122 km2. Of the eight communities on Saipan, Garapan and Chalan Kanoa are the principal population centers. Saipan, the largest of the Northern Mariana Islands, consists of a volcanic core enveloped by younger coral reef-derived limestone formations. It has the most diverse coral reefs in the CNMI-Guam region, although coral habitat on two large offshore banks are threatened by the anchorage of commercial and naval vessels. >
Marpi Bank is a steep-sided, flat-topped submerged bank approximately 28 km north of Saipan, located at latitude 15 26’N, longitude 145 52’E. It is approximately 9 km long by 4 km wide and is oriented in a northeast to southwest alignment similar to Tatsumi Reef, which lies south of Tinian. The shallowest point shown on NOAA’s Nautical Chart 81067 is 26 fathoms (53 m). Marpi Bank is also a popular fishing location. In 2003 and 2007 Marpi Bank was surveyed using multibeam sonars on the R/V AHI and the NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai.
Click thumbnail maps below to explore PIBHMC’s data sets.