Maldives Geography

From the first glimpse itself, Maldives proves to be a tropical paradise island. A string of islands form fascinating patterns as they lie scattered across the equator to the South West of Sri Lanka. Formed over the 2000 kms Laccadives - Chagos ridge, the Maldivian islands stretch from the North to South for over 820 kms and from East to West for over 120 kms. In total Maldives covers an area of approximately 90,000km2. Only 1% of this is land with the rest being water.

An archipelago of 1190 islands, formed in a collection of 26 beautiful atolls constitutes Maldives. An atoll is best described as a series of concentric layers, with a strong reef constituting the outermost layer. This reef is composed of coral debris and living coral. This strong reef acts as a natural barrier against rough seas. The Islands set at a distance and parallel to this reef, have their own protective fringe of reef. A break in this coral fringe allows you access to the calmer waters which form the lagoons.

The storms and high waves of the Indian Ocean are not visible here, near any coral fringed island. Though the Indian Ocean doesn't create any havoc here with its storms, it does affect the climate of the country. Acting as a heat buffer, the ocean absorbs stores and gives out the heat much slowly. A cool breeze blows in from the sea throughout.

A six inches deep layer of humus forms the initial layers of the soil in the islands. Below this, two feet of sandstone is found followed by sand and fresh water. Due to excessive salt in the soil down the beach, vegetation is limited to a few plants like shrubs, flowering plants and small hedges. In the interiors of the island, more vegetation like mangroves, banyan etc prevails. Only the coconut palms are able to grow just about anywhere and are a major contributing factor to the lifestyle of the natives. The coconut palms are considered so significant that it has been classified as the national tree.

The limited vegetation is supplemented by the abundance of coral reefs and marine life.

An incredible vacation beckons you to an amazing collection of memories.

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Male’, Republic of Maldives

Tel No : (+960) 3312460 Fax No : (+960) 3318945

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