Coral islands

Coral islands

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Credit: ALEXIS ROSENFELD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coral islands. Aerial view of a chain of atolls in the Maldives, Indian Ocean. Atolls are islands consisting of a circular coral reef surrounding a lagoon. An atoll develops when coral grows on the top of a submerged volcano. The coral reef protects delicate coral sand islands in the interior of the lagoon, which are stabilised by colonising vegetation. None of the islands in the Maldives exceeds seven kilometres (km) in length, and all are less than two metres above sea level. The Republic of Maldives contains 1190 islands on 26 atolls.

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Keywords: aerial photograph, archipelago, atoll, bank, coral reef, environment, geography, indian ocean, island chain, islands, lagoon, land, maldives, sand, sea, tourism, tourist resort, tropical paradise

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