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Midway Islands:
Geography

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Midway Islands Page


Other pages in this profile of the Midway Islands:
People, Government, Economy, Communications & Transportation, Military & Transnational Issues.
Background
Definition
The US took formal possession of the islands in 1867. The laying of the trans-Pacific cable, which passed through the islands, brought the first residents in 1903. Between 1935 and 1947, Midway was used as a refueling stop for trans-Pacific flights. The US naval victory over a Japanese fleet off Midway in 1942 was one of the turning points of World War II. The islands continued to serve as a naval station until closed in 1993. Today the islands are a national wildlife refuge. From 1996 to 2001 the refuge was open to the public; it is now temporarily closed.
Location
Definition
Oceania, atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, about one-third of the way from Honolulu to Tokyo
Geographic coordinates
Definition
28 12 N, 177 22 W
Map references
Definition
Oceania
Area
Definition
total: 6.2 sq km
land: 6.2 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: includes Eastern Island, Sand Island, and Spit Island
Area - comparative
Definition
about nine times the size of The Mall in Washington, DC
Land boundaries
Definition
0 km
Coastline
Definition
15 km
Maritime claims
Definition
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate
Definition
subtropical; moderated by prevailing easterly winds
Terrain
Definition
low, nearly level
Elevation extremes
Definition
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: unnamed location 13 m
Natural resources
Definition
wildlife, terrestrial and aquatic
Land use
Definition
arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Irrigated land
Definition
0 sq km
Natural hazards
Definition
NA
Environment - current issues
Definition
NA
Geography - note
Definition
a coral atoll managed as a national wildlife refuge and open to the public for wildlife-related recreation in the form of wildlife observation and photography, sport fishing, snorkeling, and scuba diving; the refuge is temporarily closed for reorganization at present (2004)


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