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DSC00031/French Polynésia/Mooréa Island/ | by dany13
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DSC00031/French Polynésia/Mooréa Island/

Moorea, jadis nommée Aimeho (ou Eimeo), émergée des eaux il y a trois millions d'années, a la forme d'un trident avec ses deux baies splendides (Cook et Opunohu). Elle compte 16000 habitants concentrés dans de nombreux villages côtiers : Maharepa, Paopao, Haapiti, Afareaitu, Vaiare, pour une superficie de 134 km². Moorea est située à 17 km de Tahiti et est fréquemment appelée "l'île sœur". Elle compte 8 montagnes, dont le mont Tohiea culminant à 1207 m. Le nom de Moorea (Mo’o=lézard rea =jaune) proviendrait de la légende selon laquelle un énorme lézard jaune aurait ouvert de deux coups de queue les baies d'Opunohu et de Cook

Image Prise et publiée par Yann Arthus Bertrand

 

Lagoons, Motus and Atolls

 

There are three types of islands in French Polynesia, with very different geological features depending on how old they are:

1. The high islands with a lagoon. The water extending from the island to the coral reef is called the lagoon: it is generally a very calm body of water connected to the ocean by one or several passes (for example: the older islands in the Society Archipelago and in the Australs)

2. The Atolls which are like the previous islands but with no island in the middle: all that remains is the coral reef encircling an immense lagoon where, a long time ago, stood an island that has since disappeared. (for example: the very old islands of the Tuamotus)

3. The high islands without lagoon and with no coral reef to protect them (for example: the young islands in the Marquesas)

In fact all these volcanic islands are slowly sinking on the earth plate of the ocean bottom. It is therefore very easy to reconstitute the order of their birth in function of their shape and altitude. Thus for example, Tahiti is the youngest of the Society Islands (since it is the highest with over 2,000 meter), while to the West, Maupiti and Bora Bora are older. The same way, the atoll of Tetiaroa is probably one of the oldest island in this archipelago.

The Motus: are small islets that were formed on the coral reef encircling the lagoon. Thus, this coral reef is made up of a succession of land portions with vegetation (the Motus) and sea areas submerged at high tide (the hoa), as well as deeper passes connecting the lagoon to the ocean and accessible to boats. There are motus practically around each island and atoll.

 

www.tahitiguide.com/@en-us/article.asp?article_id=5/2/74

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Uploaded on October 1, 2012