Geography of the Solomon Islands

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The Solomon Islands in 1989 (click to enlarge).

The Solomon Islands are a wide island nation in the South Pacific Ocean, that lies east of Papua New Guinea and consists of many islands: Choiseul, the Shortland Islands, the New Georgia Islands, Santa Isabel, the Russell Islands, the Florida Islands, Malaita, Guadalcanal, Sikaiana, Maramasike, Ulawa, Uki, Makira (San Cristobal), Santa Ana, Rennell, Bellona and the Santa Cruz Islands. The distance between the most western and most eastern islands is about 1,500 km (930 mi). Especially the Santa Cruz Islands, North of Vanuatu, (of which Tikopia is part) are isolated at more than 200 km (120 mi) from the other islands.

Volcanoes with varying degrees of activity are situated on some of the larger islands, while many of the smaller islands are simply tiny atolls covered in sand and palm trees.

Bougainville is geographically part of the Solomon Islands, but politically Papua New Guinea.

Climate[edit]

The climate is tropical, though temperatures are rarely extreme due to cooling winds blowing off the surrounding seas. Daytime temperatures are normally 25 to 32 degrees Celsius (77 to 90 °F), falling about 13 to 15 °C (59 °F) at night. From April to October (the Dry Season), the Southeast trade winds blow, gusting at times up to 30 knots (55 km/h) or more. November to March is the wet season—the northwest monsoon—typically warmer and wetter. Cyclones arise in the Coral Sea and the area of the Solomon Islands, but they usually veer toward Vanuatu and New Caledonia or down the coast of Australia.

The Solomon Islands in Oceania

Geographic coordinates: 8°00′S 159°00′E / 8.000°S 159.000°E / -8.000; 159.000

Map references: Oceania

Area:
total: 28,896 km² (10,985 mi²)
land: 27,986 km² (10,633 mi²)
water: 910 km² (351 mi²)

Area - comparative: Slightly smaller than the U.S. state of Maryland

Land boundaries: 0 km

Coastline: 5,313 km

Maritime claims:
Measured from claimed archipelagic baselines
continental shelf:   200 nmi (230 mi; 370 km)
exclusive economic zone:   200 nmi (230 mi; 370 km)
territorial sea:   12 nmi (14 mi; 22 km)

Terrain: Mostly rugged mountains with some low coral atolls

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Popomanaseu 2,332 m (7,651 ft) (not Mount Makarakomburu)

Natural resources: fish, forests, gold, bauxite, phosphates, lead, zinc, nickel

Land use:
arable land: 0.62%
permanent crops: 2.04%
other: 97.34% (2005)

Irrigated land: NA

Natural hazards: Typhoons, but they are rarely destructive; geologically active region with frequent earth tremors; volcanic activity

Environment - current issues: Deforestation; soil erosion; much of the surrounding coral reefs are dead or dying

Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none

Extreme points[edit]

This is a list of the extreme points of the Solomon Islands, the points that are farther north, south, east or west than any other location.

See also[edit]