Minami-Torishima Island

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Researchers recently found a motherlode of around 230 million metric tons of minerals crucial to making electric car batteries on the seabed off Minami-Torishima Island.

About Minami-Torishima Island:

  • Minami-Torishima Island, also known as Marcus Island, is an isolated Japanese coral atoll in the northwestern Pacific Ocean.
  • It is the easternmost territory belonging to Japan and the only Japanese territory on the Pacific Plate, past the Japan Trench. It lies 1,950 km southeast of central Tokyo.
  • The shape of the island is close to an equilateral triangle.
  • It's formed by a raised coral reef, which is about 2 km on each side and 6 km around.
  • The terrain is flat, with a maximum altitude of 9 m, but outside of the reef is a steep cliff that's about 1,000 m deep, and the surrounding waters go down to about 6,000 m at their deepest.
  • Climate: Located in the transitional zone between tropical and subtropical climates, the Island has an oceanic climate with an average annual temperature of around 25.6 °C.
  • The exclusive economic zone based on the baseline of the Minami torishima Island is some 430,000 km2, larger than Japan’s land area.

Q1: What is an atoll?

An atoll is a ring-shaped coral reef, island, or series of islets. An atoll surrounds a body of water called a lagoon. Sometimes, atolls and lagoons protect a central island. Channels between islets connect a lagoon to the open ocean or sea.

Source: Japan found enough minerals off a remote Pacific island to fuel its EV plans for over a decade