Geography of the Federated States of Micronesia

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) consists of 607 islands extending 1,800 miles (2,900 km) across the archipelago of the Caroline Islands east of the Philippines. The four constituent island groups are Yap, Chuuk (called Truk until January 1990), Pohnpei (called Ponape until November 1984), and Kosrae. The federal capital is Palikir, on Pohnpei. Separated from the four main island groups are the islands of Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi, which geographically and politically are part of Micronesia, but linguistically and culturally form part of Polynesia: the languages spoken on these two islands are of the Samoic family of Polynesian languages.

FSM enjoys a tropical climate, with quite even, warm temperatures throughout the year. Rainfall is generally plentiful, and Pohnpei reputedly is one of the wettest places on earth, with up to 330 inches (8.4 m) of rain per year. Nevertheless, drought conditions do occur periodically throughout FSM, especially when the El Niño condition moves into the Western Pacific, when groundwater supplies can dwindle to emergency proportions. Tropical typhoons are an annual threat, particularly to the low-lying atolls.

Location:
Oceania, island group in the northern Pacific Ocean, about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Indonesia

Geographic coordinates: coord|6|55|N|158|15|E|type:country

Map references:Oceania

Area:
"total:"702 km²
"land:"702 km²
"water:"0 km²
"note:"includes Pohnpei (Ponape), Truk (Chuuk) Islands, Yap Islands, and Kosrae

Area - comparative:four times the size of Washington, DC

Land boundaries:0 km

Coastline:6,112 km

Maritime claims:
"exclusive economic zone:"200 nm (370 km)
"territorial sea:"12 nm

Climate:tropical; heavy year-round rainfall, especially in the eastern islands; located on southern edge of the typhoon belt with occasionally severe damage

Terrain:islands vary geologically from high mountainous islands to low, coral atolls; volcanic outcroppings on Pohnpei, Kosrae, and Truk

Elevation extremes:
"lowest point:"
Pacific Ocean 0 m
"highest point:"
Totolom 791 m, on Pohnpei

Natural resources:forests, marine products, deep-seabed minerals

Land use:
"arable land:"NA%
"permanent crops:"NA%
"permanent pastures:"NA%
"forests and woodland:"NA%
"other:"NA%

Irrigated land:NA km²

Natural hazards:typhoons (June to December)

Environment - current issues:overfishing

Environment - international agreements:
"party to:"Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection
"signed, but not ratified:"none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:four major island groups totaling 607 islands

ee also

*Federated States of Micronesia


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