This article is about the island country. For the Nauru Island. Republic of Nauru (Nauruan).
NAURU, officially the Republic of Nauru and formerly known as Pleasant Island, is an island country in Micronesia, a subregion of Oceania, in the Central Pacific. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in Kiribati, 300 kilometres (186 mi) to the east .It further lies northwest of Tuvalu, north of Solomon Islands, east – northeast of Papua New Guinea, southeast of the Federated States of Micronesia and south of Marshall Islands. With 11,347 residents in a 21 – square- kilometre (8.1 sq mi) area, Nauru is the smallest state in the South Pacific, smallest republic and the third smallest by area in the world, behind only Vatican City and Monaco. (Geography of Nauru – Wikipedia,. https://en.m.wikipedia.org )
Moreover Nauru is a tiny independent republic country, located on a small atoll in the west-central Pacific Ocean; about 40 miles of the equator. Officially it is called Republic of Nauru Island country. It was inhabited by Pacific Islanders mostly Micronesians. When the first British explorers arrived in 1798, they named it pleasant island because of their friendly welcome. Eventually Nauru gained complete independence in 1968 and became a full member of the Commonwealth and the United Nation in 1999
According to one of the past scholars, have provided published in encyclopaedia international of reference book states that, Nauru was discovered in 1798 by the British and annexed in 1888 by Germany. Nauru was administered by Australians under trusteeship. Previously, the island of Nauru was occupied during the first world war by the Australian forces, and it was placed (1921) under mandate to Australia.Throughtout the second world war the island was occupied by Japanese troops.
Therefore this research paper is based on the facts and information of Nauru Island in regards to its geographical aspect and factors. Furthermore the paper has been done to find out about the physical geography environment of Nauru Island which covers the area of climate, environment (landforms & vegetation) and its resources. The main purpose of this research paper is to discuss about the type of climate, vegetation, various types of landforms and mineral resources of Nauru Island.
Type of climate
The climate of Nauru can be described as a typical warm, tropical climate with two different seasons. The dry seasons are between December and begin February, and from June to mid-September. Rainy seasons last from February to end May and from September to end November. Therefore in Nauru the climate is equatorial, hot, and humid throughout the year, with constant rain and without a dry season. It is no coincidence that this small island is located at Equator.
Precipitation or rainfall, averaging about 80 inches (2,000 mm) annually is extremely variable, and prolonged droughts may occur. Rainfall can vary from year to year, so sometimes it can rain a lot even in the least rainy season. However June is the month that historically has had the lowest rainfall record. The rainfall occurs in the form of showers or thunder storms, which may be intense, but not lasting, so that the sun has always a chance to shine. Normally, Nauru has a tropical climate with sea breezes, so there is a great deal of rainfall in Nauru, even in the driest month. (Wikipedia https://en.m.wikipedia.org )
Generally the climate is wet and dry season all around the year. Temperature range between 26-32?C year round, with the water temperature sitting on comfortable year round 28 – 29?C.Nauru’s climate itself is tropical, with daytime temperature in the low 80 F ( about 28? C),tempered by Ocean breeze. Moreover Nauru has the average temperature of 29 ?C (84 F) and with the temperature in the shade ranges from 22.8 C (73) to 33.9 C (93). (Wikipedia)
The main driver of climate variability in Nauru is the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). La Nina events are associated with delayed onset of the wet season and drier than normal wet seasons, often resulting in an extended drought. During El Nino, temperatures on Nauru are warmer than normal due to warmer sea temperatures; and rainfall and cloud amount are increased.
Another key climate driver for Nauru is the Inter-tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The ITCZ affects Nauru all year round. Its seasonal north/south movement drives the seasonal rainfall cycle, which peaks in Dec-Feb. The South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) affects Nauru during its maximum northward displacement in July and August. (Climate of Nauru- best- country.com, www.best- country.com/australia/nauru/climate)
Type of vegetation
Vegetation is mainly restricted to the narrow coastal belt and consists of coconut palms, bread fruits, pandanus and scrubs. The only fertile areas are the narrow coastal belt, where there are some plants and indigenous hardwoods such as the tomano trees. The land surrounding Buadu lagoon is where bananas, pineapples and some vegetables are grown. There are also some vegetables that grow over the coral pinnacles.
Soils are generally poor and highly porous, and the irregular rainfall limits cultivation to the coastal belt and the lagoon fringe. Phosphate mining has ravaged the interior of the island, leaving about four – fifths of it uninhabitable and uncultivated. Subsistence crops consisting mainly of coconut palms, pandanus, bananas, pineapple and vegetables, are not enough to support the population. The land does yield a great variety of plants and trees, however.
Unfortunately the natural environment of Nauru is still suffering, because of the intense mining of phosphate made in the past and then island is not well equipped for tourism. On the other hand the island is also seriously affected and heavily damaged in bombing raids during world wars. As a result, these have affected the vegetation and therefore not many plants are growing.The natural environment,landforms and floras are all destroyed.Because phosphate mining, human settlement and world war have impacted the entire vegetation of Nauru Island
According to Thaman RR. (1992) the indigenous floras of the raised phosphatic limestone island of Nauru and the atolls of the Gilbert Islands are among the poorest on earth.
Long settlement, widespread destruction during World War II, monocultural
expansion of coconut palms, and more than 75 years of open-cast phosphate mining
in the case of Nauru have led to serious vegetation degradation, disturbance,
and displacement.The floras of Nauru and the Gilbert Islands consist of
approximately 487 and 306 species, respectively, of which only 55 and 83 are
possibly indigenous, but none of which are endemic. The balance is composed
of ornamentals, weedy exotics, food plants, and a limited number of other useful
cultigens. Although greatly outnumbered by exotics, indigenous species still
dominate some of the most disturbed habitats, as well as constituting the most
culturally utilitarian and ecologically important species .Because of the unique
adaptability of indigenous Pacific island plants to the harsh conditions of coastal
and small-island environments, and their cultural and ecological utility, it is
argued that the protection and enhancement of the indigenous floras are crucial
to the ecological integrity and cultural survival of small-island Pacific societies. (Thaman RR.1992)
As stated by (Harley I. Manner Randolph R, Thaman, and David Chassell) on a preview articles published about how vegetation of Nauru Island changes, due to phosphate mining induced. More than 70 years of open cut phosphate mine has severely modified the vegetation and the environment of the small isolated, tropical Pacific Island of Nauru. The history of human disturbance, occupied with the introduction of exotic plant species in the absence of quarantine regulations, provides an excellent opportunity to examine the susceptibility or vulnerability of the indigenous island flora to degrading and extinction, the competitive abilities of native and exotic species during successional stages, the ecological adaptability ubiquitous strand species, and post mining potential natural vegetation of Nauru. (Harley I. Manner Randolph R et .al.1992.).
Various types of land forms
The island is raised coral reef with a central plateau, with rich phosphate beds have been created by birds dropping deposit over centuries. Most of the island consists of a plateau, 200 feet (61 metres) high, that contains deposit of phosphate. The interior is a plateau, covered by a 50-ft thick deposit of phosphate rock-source of the state’s substantial wealth and surrounded by Cliff.
Further inland, coral cliffs rise to a plateau 100 feet (30metres) above sea level, with the highest point about 213 feet (65metres). Nauru is a tiny phosphate rock island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean south of the Marshall Islands. Nauru is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean – the others are Banaba in Kiribati and Makatea in French Polynesia. Its land area is 21 km2, and it has a 30-kilometre coastline.
Furthermore the island is divided into two plateau areas – “bottom side” a few metres above sea level, and “topside “typically 30 metres higher. The topside area is dominated by pinnacles and outcrops of limestone, the result of nearly a century of mining of the high-grade tricalcic phosphate rock. The bottom side consists of a narrow coastal plain that is 150 –300 m wide as well as surrounded by coral reef, which is exposed at low tide and dotted with pinnacles. The bottom side is the residential area for the Nauru populace. The highest point of the island is 65m above sea level.
Actually Nauru is an oval-shaped coral island, with an area of 8 square miles wide. The island covers about 21 square kilometres. There is also a terrain which forms sandy beach that rises to fertile ring around raised coral reefs with phosphate plateau in centre. However a small area of fertile land surrounds a lagoon near the centre of the plateau and other belt of fertile land extends around the coast. This thin strip of fertile land encircling the island is the major zone of human settlement.
In addition, the land is encircled by a sandy beach, which rises gradually forming a fertile section no wider than 275 meters (300) yards. There is also a coral cliff from this belt to a central plateau about 60 metres (200ft) high. At the south eastern end of the plateau, a brackish lagoon known as Buada covers some 121 hectares (300 acres).
As stated by Kurian T. G, after some 10 years later Phosphate was discovered in Nauru Island and mining began in 1906. In 1970 the islander took over control of all phosphate production. The phosphate mine are owned by the natives, leased by the British and worked by the Chinese labour. Nauruan resources of phosphate rock are estimated at between 50 and 55 million tons. At the present rate of exploration, however these resources are expected to be exhausted by the end of 20th century. The phosphate mine are owned by the state and operated through the Nauru phosphate Corporation. The early production in 1982 totalled up to 1,360,000 metric ton.( Kurian T. G )
Nauru is rich in phosphate. The island once contained one of the world’s richest deposits of phosphate; a mineral used in making fertilizers and is a valuable chemical compounds. For many years the phosphate was the countries only export. Moreover Nauru is important for its high-grade phosphate deposits which form the bulk of the central plateau. This fertilizer is a dusty-gray or light brown material from the huge phosphate deposits of its central plateau.
The phosphates are treated with sulphuric acid to be converted into superphosphate. The fertilizer is purposely used for the growing of wheat, for example in half barren Australian farm-land. In doing so, it increase the soil fertility for more wheats and other crops to grow in quantity. Thus, the main purpose of phosphate rock is used as a fertilizer for agricultural purposes.
Nauru’s only economically significant natural resources are phosphate, formed from guano, deposits by sea beds over many thousands of years, and fisheries, particularly for tuna. Phosphate has been mined on Nauru since 1907.For decades it was Nauru’s main resource and sole export, dominating the island economy, and its quality was the highest in the world. The phosphate industry and government services together provided almost all the islands salaried employment. ( https://www.britannica.com )
According to Huxley A, each year Nauru exports over 1,000 000 ton of the dusty- gray or light brown material from the huge phosphate deposits of its central plateau; the phosphates are treated with sulphuric acid to be converted in to superphosphates, and the annual export is sufficient to top- dress more than 100,000,000 acres of half-barren Australian farm-land for the growing of the wheat. The total phosphate resources of Nauru are estimated at over 42,000,000 tons and there are another 14,000,000 on Ocean Island, 160 miles to the east.
Nauru’s economy is based on about 2 million metric tons of phosphate rock exported annually to Australia, and New Zealand. For many years the phosphate was the country’s export. Phosphate extraction remains, the chief exporter earner –Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia are major customers for phosphate rock which they use as fertilizer. (Huxley A., p. 221)
By the beginning of the 20th century, the phosphate had almost run out so the country was forced to develop other sources of income. However the phosphate deposits were quickly becoming exhausted and Nauru experienced a severe drop-off in earnings, leading the country near bankruptcy by the early years of 21st century. Unfortunately Nauru struggled to developed other resources and find other alternative sources of income. Eventually the deposits have been depleted and the economy has been converting to Fish and other ventures.
In summary, Nauru is a tiny phosphate rock island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean south of the Marshall Islands in Oceania, and formerly known as Pleasant Island. It is only 53 kilometres south of the Equator. Nauru is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean – the others are Banaba in Kiribati and Makatea in French Polynesia. Its land area is 21 km2, and it has a 30-kilometre coastline.Furthermore the island of Nauru is the world’s third smallest republic country in the world. Consist of an oval –shaped coral island.