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American Samoa:
Geography

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American Samoa Page


Other pages in this profile of American Samoa:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
Settled as early as 1000 B.C., Samoa was "discovered" by European explorers in the 18th century. International rivalries in the latter half of the 19th century were settled by an 1899 treaty in which Germany and the US divided the Samoan archipelago. The US formally occupied its portion - a smaller group of eastern islands with the excellent harbor of Pago Pago - the following year.
Location
Definition
Oceania, group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and New Zealand
Geographic coordinates
Definition
14 20 S, 170 00 W
Map references
Definition
Oceania
Area
Definition - World rank and map
total: 199 sq km
land: 199 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Rose Island and Swains Island
Area - comparative
Definition
slightly larger than Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
116 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
tropical marine, moderated by southeast trade winds; annual rainfall averages about 3 m; rainy season (November to April), dry season (May to October); little seasonal temperature variation
Terrain
Definition
five volcanic islands with rugged peaks and limited coastal plains, two coral atolls (Rose Island, Swains Island)
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Lata Mountain 964 m
Natural resources
Definition
pumice, pumicite
Land use
Definition - World rank and map
arable land: 10%
permanent crops: 15%
other: 75% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
NA
Natural hazards
Definition
typhoons common from December to March
Environment - current issues
Definition
limited natural fresh water resources; the water division of the government has spent substantial funds in the past few years to improve water catchments and pipelines
Geography - note
Definition
Pago Pago has one of the best natural deepwater harbors in the South Pacific Ocean, sheltered by shape from rough seas and protected by peripheral mountains from high winds; strategic location in the South Pacific Ocean


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