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French Polynesia

Iles Gambier is seemingly an anomaly in the Tuamotu Archipelago (French Polynesia), in which 95% of the islands are atolls. This extraordinary island-barrier reef complex is in the southeasternmost end of the Tuamotus, some 120 kilometers from the mature Groupe Acteon......

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Apataki Atoll, an atoll in the Tuamotu Islands in the south Pacific, is approximately 370 kilometers northeast of the island of Tahiti, near 1527' South, 14619' West. The atoll was discovered in 1722 by a Dutch navigator, Jakob Roggeveen. It was later visited by Captain Cook in 1774.

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Rangiroa, the largest of all complete atolls in the Tuamotu Archipelago (French Polynesia), lies at the northwest end of that chain of islands. Its irregular, elongated shape shows the kind of configuration that convinced Darwin that fortuitous platforms alone were too simple an answer for the distribution of atolls in the Pacific Basin.

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Well to the south of the Tuamotu Archipelago (French Polynesia), not far from the southernmost island, Pitcairn, lies the Groupe Acteon, which is composed of four quite mature atolls: Tenararo, Vahanga, Tenarunga, and the Maturei-Vavao....

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In the northwest Society Islands, the grouping of Motu Iti Atoll, Bora-Bora, Tahaa, and Raiatea islands depicts the last two stages of coral atoll development, as the growing reefs respond to the sinking of the island masses into the ocean's crust.

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