Geography of Marshall Islands – The Ultimate Free Guide 2021
Learn facts and Geography of Marshall Islands. including Major Geographical Features, Natural resources, Region, area, Capital, Border countries, rivers in Pitcairn Islands.
- The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands is an independent island country near the Equator in the Pacific Ocean, slightly west of the International Date Line. Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of Micronesia.
- The islands share maritime boundaries with Wake Island to the north, Kiribati to the southeast, Nauru to the south, and Federated States of Micronesia to the west. About 52.3% of Marshall Islanders (27,797 at the 2011 Census) live on Majuro.
- Micronesian colonists reached the Marshall Islands using canoes circa 2nd millennium BC, with interisland navigation made possible using traditional stick charts. They eventually settled there.
- Islands in the archipelago were first explored by Europeans in the 1520s, starting with Ferdinand Magellan, a Portuguese explorer in the service of Spain, Juan Sebastián Elcano and Miguel de Saavedra. Spanish explorer Alonso de Salazar reported sighting an atoll in August 1526.
- Spain claimed the islands in 1592, and the European powers recognized its sovereignty over the islands in 1874. They had been part of the Spanish East Indies formally since 1528. Later, Spain sold some of the islands to the German Empire in 1885, and they became part of German New Guinea that year, run by the trading companies doing business in the islands, particularly the Jaluit Company.
Geography of Marshall Islands
Adjacent bodies of water:
The Marshall Islands’ nearest neighbors are Wake Island (north), Kiribati and Nauru (south), and the Federated States of Micronesia (west).
70.05 sq mi
World Region or Continent:
Most of the Marshall Islands are true atolls, consisting of an irregular, oval-shaped coral reef surrounding a lagoon; the islets lie along the coral reef. The islands and islets of the Ratak chain tend to be more heavily wooded than those of the Ralik.
Geographical Low Point:
Pacific Ocean 0 m
Geographical High Point:
unnamed location on Likiep 10 m
- Tropical; hot and humid with a Koeppen-Geiger classification of Af.
- The wet season lasts from May to November and the islands border the typhoon belt.
- Typhoons do pose an infrequent threat from July to mid November.
- Due to their low elevation, the Marshall Islands are threatened by the potential effects of sea level rise.
- According to the President of Nauru, the Marshall Islands are the most endangered nation on Earth due to flooding from climate change.
Major Land forms:
- Atolls, narrow strips of low land that enclose a lagoon, make up the majority of Marshall Islands.
- The Sunrise (Ratak) Group includes Mili, Majuro, Maloelap, Wotje, Likiep, Rongelap, Ailinginae, Bikini, Enewetok, and Ujelang Atolls.
Major Rivers and Lakes:
There are no notable rivers on any of the Marshall Islands.
The major natural resources on the Marshall Islands are phosphate deposits, marine products, deep seabed minerals. However, knowledge of the phosphate and mineral beds is limited, and no large-scale attempts have yet been made to access them. It is unknown how large the mineral deposits are.
Major Geographical Features:
The Marshalls are composed of more than 1,200 islands and islets in two parallel chains of coral atolls—the Ratak, or Sunrise, to the east and the Ralik, or Sunset, to the west.
There are no mountains or volcanoes in the Marshall Islands.