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Howland Island:
Geography

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Howland Island Page


Other pages in this profile of Howland Island:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
Discovered by the US early in the 19th century, the island was officially claimed by the US in 1857. Both US and British companies mined for guano until about 1890. Earhart Light is a day beacon near the middle of the west coast that was partially destroyed during World War II, but has since been rebuilt; it is named in memory of the famed aviatrix Amelia EARHART. The island is administered by the US Department of the Interior as a National Wildlife Refuge.
Location
Definition
Oceania, island in the North Pacific Ocean, about half way between Hawaii and Australia
Geographic coordinates
Definition
0 48 N, 176 38 W
Map references
Definition
Oceania
Area
Definition
total: 1.6 sq km
land: 1.6 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparative
Definition
about three times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
6.4 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
equatorial; scant rainfall, constant wind, burning sun
Terrain
Definition
low-lying, nearly level, sandy, coral island surrounded by a narrow fringing reef; depressed central area
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 3 m
Natural resources
Definition
guano (deposits worked until late 1800s), terrestrial and aquatic wildlife
Land use
Definition
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2001)
Irrigated land
Definition
0 sq km
Natural hazards
Definition
the narrow fringing reef surrounding the island can be a maritime hazard
Environment - current issues
Definition
no natural fresh water resources
Geography - note
Definition
almost totally covered with grasses, prostrate vines, and low-growing shrubs; small area of trees in the center; primarily a nesting, roosting, and foraging habitat for seabirds, shorebirds, and marine wildlife


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