Tuamotu Archipelago


Tuamotu Archipelago
/tooh'euh moh"tooh/
a group of French islands in the S Pacific. 6664; 332 sq. mi. (860 sq. km). Also called Low Archipelago, Paumotu Archipelago.

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Group of about 80 islands (pop., 1996: 14,283), French Polynesia.

The archipelago comprises 75 atolls, one raised coral atoll (Makatea), and innumerable coral reefs, roughly dispersed northwest-southeast as a double chain for over 900 miles (1,450 km). Europeans visited the islands in the 16th–17th centuries. France occupied them in 1844 and annexed them in 1880 as a Tahitian dependency. They now form, with the Gambier Islands, an administrative division of French Polynesia. In 1947 Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki expedition ended on Raroia
one of Tuamotu's many reefs. France has used some uninhabited atolls in the archipelago for nuclear testing.

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▪ islands, French Polynesia
French  Îles Tuamotu,  also called  Paumotu 
 island group of French Polynesia, central South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago comprises 75 atolls, one raised coral atoll ( Makatea), and innumerable coral reefs, roughly dispersed northwest-southeast as a double chain for more than 900 miles (1,450 km). It is the largest group of coral atolls in the world.

      With the exception of Makatea, the islands are flat with little fresh water. The largest atoll of the group is Rangiroa, which consists of a circle of 20 islets surrounding a broad lagoon. Fakarava and Hoa atolls are also important. Raroia is the reef on which the Kon-Tiki expedition ended its 4,300-mile (6,900-km) eastward drift across the Pacific in 1947.

      Pukapuka Atoll was sighted by Ferdinand Magellan (Magellan, Ferdinand) as he crossed the Pacific in 1521, making it the first South Pacific island to be sighted by Europeans. Iron cannon recovered on Amanu in 1929 and 1969 indicate that the Spanish caravel San Lesmes was shipwrecked on the atoll in 1526. Subsequently visited by the Portuguese Pedro Fernández de Quirós (1606) and others, the islands came under French protection in 1844 and were annexed in 1880 as a Tahitian dependency. They now form, with the Gambier Islands, an administrative subdivision of French Polynesia, with headquarters at Papeete, on Tahiti. The islands' villages are situated near lagoons where pearl oysters, fish, and coconuts support the population; the cultivation of so-called “black pearls” (from the black-lipped oyster, Pinctada margaritifera) is an important industry in the Tuamotus. Many villagers emigrate to Papeete. The uninhabited atolls of Mururoa and Fangataufa were used by France for some 180 nuclear-weapons tests between 1966 and 1996. Area (including inland water) 270 square miles (690 square km). Pop. (2002) 14,876.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tuamotu Archipelago — [to͞o΄ə mōt′o͞o] group of islands of French Polynesia: 280 sq mi (725 sq km) …   English World dictionary

  • Tuamotu Archipelago — noun a group of about 80 coral islands in French Polynesia • Syn: ↑Paumotu Archipelago, ↑Low Archipelago • Instance Hypernyms: ↑archipelago • Part Holonyms: ↑French Polynesia, ↑French Oceania …   Useful english dictionary

  • Tuamotu Archipelago — /tuəˌmoʊtu akəˈpɛləgoʊ/ (say toohuh.mohtooh ahkuh peluhgoh) noun a group of French coral islands in the southern Pacific. 860 km2. Also, Low Archipelago, Paumotu Archipelago …   Australian English dictionary

  • Tuamotu Archipelago — geographical name archipelago S Pacific E of Society Islands; belongs to France area 330 square miles (858 square kilometers), population 11,754 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Tuamotu Archipelago — Tu•a•mo′tu Archipel′ago [[t]ˌtu əˈmoʊ tu[/t]] n. geg a group of islands in the S Pacific: in French Polynesia. 11,793; 332 sq. mi. (860 sq. km) …   From formal English to slang

  • Tuamotu Sandpiper — Taxobox name = Tuamotu Sandpiper status = EN | status system = IUCN3.1 trend = down regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Charadriiformes familia = Scolopacidae genus = Prosobonia species = P. cancellata binomial = Prosobonia… …   Wikipedia

  • Tuamotu — Archipel des Tuamotu Archipel des Tuamotu Carte de la Polynésie française avec l archipel des Tuamotu. Géographie Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

  • archipelago — archipelagic /ahr keuh peuh laj ik/, archipelagian /ahr keuh peuh lay jee euhn, jeuhn/, adj. /ahr keuh pel euh goh /, n., pl. archipelagos, archipelagoes. 1. a large group or chain of islands: the Malay Archipelago. 2. any large body of water… …   Universalium

  • Archipel Des Tuamotu — Carte de la Polynésie française avec l archipel des Tuamotu. Géographie Pays …   Wikipédia en Français

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