Malden Atoll
Gilbert Islands

Malden Atoll

Flight 61A; 2.8S, 156.3W, 20:13:43 GMT, 31 Oct 85

An island of even greater maturity than those making up the Groupe Acteon is Malden Atoll, situated near the southern end of the Line Islands. Malden sits astride the South Equatorial Current of the Pacific Ocean, on the northern edge of the southeast trade winds. There is nothing between Maiden and the winter storm centers in the North Pacific Ocean. The island is well exposed, therefore, to long, regular ocean swell from the Northern Hemisphere. This exposure has resulted in the atoll's broad build-up of island mass on the side adjacent to the largest waves. As in the case of the Acteon atolls, the refraction of the waves around Maiden Atoll was readily apparent to the crew aboard the Challenger.

Download 37.tiff high resolution TIFF file (9.1MB)

Contents Islands prev: Iles Gambier next: Christmas Island