[ Bathymetry | Backscatter | Optical Validation | Geomorphology ]
Midway Atoll, located at 28.2°N, 177.4°W, is the best-known of the islands and atolls in the NWHI thanks to the pivotal World War II battle fought nearby. Drill cores collected at the atoll in the summer of 1965 have shown that this classic ring-shaped atoll is formed from hundreds of meters of shallow-water reef deposits capping the top of an eroded and subsided volcano (Ladd et al., 1967) that formed 28 million years ago.
The atoll includes two islands totalling 1.42 sq. km in area, and the atoll lagoon and surrounding banks include 223 sq. km of seafloor shallower than 100 m. The island contains the most extensive vegetation of all the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, including introduced Ironwood trees. The islands are important nesting grounds for thousands of seabirds and migratory shorebirds. Midway is one of only two colonies of the endangered Laysan Duck, Anas laysanensis, a species endemic to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
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