EarthWatch: Isthmus of Taravao in Tahiti

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This island’s rugged topography and dense rainforest has led most of its inhabitants to live along the coastline.

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory:  
  • NASA Earth Observatory image by Lauren Dauphin, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey 
  • Image of the Day story by Laura Phoebus, Jacobs, JETS Contract at NASA-JSC: 
  • Astronaut photograph ISS061-E-26010 acquired by Expedition 61 Crew of the International Space Station, with a Nikon D5 digital camera using a 800 millimeter lens, provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. 
  • Adaptation to ViewSpace by Claire Blome, Margaret W. Carruthers, and Dani Player
  • Music from Music for Nonprofits 

Text, Earth Watch, Exploring the Blue Planet by Satellite
An aerial view of the Isthmus of Taravao in Tahiti on July 11, 2001
Text, Tahiti, which lies in the middle of the South Pacific, is part of French Polynesia.
Of the nearby 117 islands and atolls, Tahiti is the largest and is inhabited by approximately 70% of the nation's population.
Tahiti consists of two overlapping volcanoes, Tahiti-Nui and Tahiti Iti.
The volcanoes form the two parts of the island, which are connected by an isthmus.
Villages and coral reefs line either side of the island.
Because of its rugged topography and dense rainforest, most of Tahiti's inhabitants live along the coastline.
The isthmus allows plants and animals to migrate between the two land masses.
To learn more, go to: earth observatory dot nasa dot gov