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Photo-iss006e22132
International Space Station Imagery
A portion of the Society Islands
high res (0.9 M) low res (56 K)
ISS006-E-22132 (January 2003) --- A portion of the Society Islands was captured with a digital still camera by one of the Expedition Six crewmembers on the International Space Station (ISS). The evolution of fringing reefs to atolls was captured in this one frame. As with the Hawaiian Islands, these volcanic hot spot islands become progressively older to the northwest. As these islands move away from their magma sources they erode and subside. The two large islands, Raiatea and Tahaa, share a single fringing reef. The next island to the northwest, Bora-Bora, consists of a highly eroded volcanic remnant with fringing reef. The last island, Tupai, has become an atoll with the central portion below sea level.

Curator: JSC PAO Web Team | Responsible NASA Official: Amiko Kauderer | Updated: 10/30/2012
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