Penhryn Atoll
Cook Islands

Penhryn Atoll

Flight 51 I; 9S, 158W, 27 Aug 1985

Penhryn Atoll in the Cook Islands is typical of those occurring in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. A shallow lagoon supports the growth of large coral knolls that can become so numerous that navigation through the lagoon is hazardous. The surrounding reef is narrow, with broad lagoonal beaches and enough height above sea level to support coconut groves. The widest lagoon beaches are on the sides where overflowing storm surges are the most frequent. The entrances through the reef are located opposite the prevailing South Equatorial Current.

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