Kingman Reef

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Kingman Reef (pronounced /ˈkɪŋmən/) is a largely submerged, uninhabited triangular shaped reef, 9.5 nautical miles (18 km) east-west and 5 nautical miles (9 km) north-south,[1] located in the North Pacific Ocean, roughly half way between the Hawaiian Islands and American Samoa at 6°23′N 162°25′W / 6.383°N 162.417°W / 6.383; -162.417.[2][3] It is the northernmost of the Northern Line Islands and lies 36 nautical miles (67 km) northwest of the next closest island (Palmyra Atoll), and 930 nautical miles (1,720 km) south of Honolulu.[2]

The reef encloses a lagoon up to 270 feet (82 m) deep in its western part.[1] The total area within the outer rim of the reef is 76 km2 (29 sq mi). There are two small strips of dry land composed of coral rubble and giant clamshells on the eastern rim with areas of 2 acres (8,000 m2) and 1 acre (4,000 m2)[4] having a coastline of 3 kilometres (2 mi).[2] The highest point on the reef is less than 5 feet (1.5 m) above sea level,[4] which is wetted or awash most of the time, making Kingman Reef a maritime hazard. It has no natural resources and supports no economic activity.[2]

Contents

Political status

Kingman Reef has the status of an unincorporated U.S. possession of the United States, administered from Washington, DC by the U.S. Department of Interior. The atoll is closed to the public. For statistical purposes, Kingman Reef is grouped as part of the United States Minor Outlying Islands. In January 2009, Kingman Reef was designated a marine national monument.

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