Most isolated atoll
Last updated: March 9, 2018 at 4:59 am
The coral atoll of Kiritimati, located in the northern Line Islands, is part of the Republic of Kiribati. Based on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Index of Isolation, Kirimati is the most isolated atoll in the world. Hence Kiritimati was selected for nuclear testing by the United Kingdom (Operation Grapple) and the United States (Operation Dominic) from 1957 to 1962 due to its extremely remote location. NOTE: Kiritimati, meaning Christmas, is not the Australian island and territory of the same name which lies in the Indian Ocean.
UNEP INDEX OF ISOLATION: To measure the isolation of the island from potential sources of colonization, the square roots of the distances to the nearest equivalent or larger island, the nearest island group or archipelago and the nearest continent are added to give an index of isolation. Where one of these does not exist, the next higher distance is repeated, except in the case of small satellite islands close to much larger land masses.
Kiritimati (Kiribati – Line Islands)
Isolation index: 129
Island distance: 300 km
Group distance: 1600 km
Continent distance: North America, 5100 km