September 16, 2012
Written by Dr. Andy Bruckner, Chief Scientist
Society Islands from 1000 feet offers a unique perspective of the beauty of French Polynesia as well as some of the challenges we face on the upcoming research mission. We overflew the eight atolls, most which were roughly circular or elliptical in shape – some with a few low-lying islets covered in coconut palms and scrub forest and others built around rugged, steeply-sloping volcanoes.
Complex reef systems typically enclose deep water lagoons, only a few that are easily accessible, several that connect to the open ocean by a narrow, treacherous channel with a constant strong current, and others that are completely inaccessible and surrounded by a razor-sharp barrier reef.