The outer shorelines of most Atolls are rocky or covered in sand. These atolls have been a critical landform for humans in the form of test sites, a spot to live in the middle of oceans or seas and even as a place for leisure.
Most Atolls have a very low elevation over the sea level, thus mostly they stay hidden under waves or tides. This makes them a threat for ships and boats sailing in the nearby waters. This problem persisted similarly for ancient ships to the modern high-tech naval vessels. So far, more than thousands of ships got struck and wrecked on these semi-invisible types of atolls.
Most Atolls are very narrow or low rising above sea level, this makes them uninhabitable for humans for the long term. Thus these atolls stay deserted of any major life form. Even to this time of the twentieth century, many atolls are yet to be discovered as they are in remote oceans and are very difficult to reach.
The isolated and deserted atolls appeared as ideal testing spots for many nuclear weapons tests of countries such as France, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. These sites were remote, deserted, uninhabited and very hard to reach at, thus making them ideal of nuclear tests.
The first test of the hydrogen bomb that was carried out by United States of America in the Marshall Islands was code named Operation Mike. It was the first of its kind thermonuclear weapon and it was also tested on the Enewetak Atoll located in the Marshall Islands.The first thermonuclear hydrogen bomb test code-named Operation Mike was conducted on November 1, 1952 by the United States.
The Pacific Ocean has provided spots for hundreds of nuclear weapons and other WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) tests between the years of 1947 to 1962.
These sites of Marshall Islands and some other locations in the Pacific Ocean are a chain of around 2000 islands and atolls which are under the governance of the U.S. Government and are called The Pacific Providing Grounds.
The Nuclear free Zone located in the New Zealand and islands across the Polynesia have protested to stop the conducting of further Nuclear tests. The damage caused by these nuclear weapons tests destroyed natural coral reefs, made radioactive hotspots and started dropping highly toxic or radioactive fallout over the nearby islands and territories that were inhabited by humans and other species.
As part of the Operation Castle on March 1st 1954, Castle Bravo was the first among the series of high yield thermonuclear hydrogen bomb tests which were conducted by the United States of America in the Bikini Atolls of the Marshall Islands. The U.S. Government evacuated the people living in the islands and Atolls of Rongerik Atoll and Rongelap Atoll which are located in the Marshall Islands. After few years many among these people were facing health problems that were an after effect of these nuclear tests causing them medical conditions related to radiation exposure and poisoning.
Atolls have been a key threat for sailors and ships since the time humans started exploring the oceans and seas of the planet earth. Wrecks of ships all the way from the 18th Century to the Second World War are now stranded and abandoned in the many atolls of the Pacific Ocean, especially the atolls of the Marshall Islands.
The fast currents of the ocean around these atolls make docking difficult for ships and often ships get stuck in the shallow waters of the lagoons of these atolls because of the coral reef below the lagoon does not provide waters deep enough for the ships to stay afloat.
Maldives, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Cook Islands are the island countries whose economy is mostly influenced by the Tourism industry. Most atolls are part of the archipelago of the undeveloped countries and don’t get a very high number of tourists visiting them. Yet, some of these atolls thrive as a form of popular international tourism spot.
The Atolls are not highly populated geographical features on this planet, they also lack in many natural resources. Atolls have sandy shores and a central lagoon that is not very deep. These features and characteristics make them popular for tourism and also for nuclear weapons testing:)
The residents who live on these atolls perform subsistence agriculture, which means when the people do farming and grow crops for fulfilling their own food needs and their family’s requirements. The natives of atolls also rely upon fishing, as fishes are abundant around atolls.
If required, the food and basic requirements like medicines, certain foods and fruits, fuel and other supplies are imported from nearby larger islands or countries at a high price.The Atolls are located in the remote areas of oceans and seas and thus act as an important location for fishing and supporting of the shipping industry worldwide. The atolls which are located near the equator such as Kwajalein Atoll, Aur Atoll and Wake Island are used as established satellite and rocket launch sites.
Tuvalu is a country in Oceania with Funafuti atoll as its capital, it is an archipelago located in the pacific. This nation has an Internet domain as ( .tv ) and by this, it receives a lot of revenue every year.
As explained in HOW ATOLLS ARE FORMED, Atolls have a low elevation and don’t raise high above the sea level. This makes them prone to erosion by winds, waves or sea currents. If there is a rise in sea levels due to global warming and climate change factors caused by human activities and their influence on the atmosphere of this planet. The Atolls of the earth will be among the first to sink below the oceans and seas, vanishing completely out of existence.
Popular Island countries with important and famous atolls like Kiribati and Maldives started taking measures to preserve and protect their valuable atolls from the possible future rise in sea levels. These nations started a process of dredging the sea floors. Dredging is the process of excavating soil or other materials from below the seas to make islands or atolls less prone to rising waters or waves, reshaping of shores or creating channels for excess water drainage.
These tourism rich countries of Maldives and Kiribati also took political and government level actions for protecting their atolls and islands from the possible threat of rising in sea levels due to climate change. Kiribati and Maldives have planned an evacuation plan for the inhabitants of their atolls in a possible case of rise in sea levels causing the atolls to drown under the oceans.
The Maldives had led many international and the United Nations level conferences and meetings over the plans and prevention of global warming and climate change that can cause a global rise in sea levels resulting in submerging of their islands and atolls forever.