Status Report

International Space Station Imagery: Guanaja Island, Honduras

By SpaceRef Editor
March 28, 2007
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International Space Station Imagery: Guanaja Island, Honduras

high res (1.0 M) low res (52 K)

ISS014-E-15767 (1 March 2007) — Guanaja Island, Honduras is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 14 crewmember on the International Space Station. Guanaja Island is located along the southwestern margin of the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 60 kilometers north of mainland Honduras.

The island is situated near the western edge of the Cayman Ridge, a topographic feature comprised of rock types indicative of ancient volcanic islands, sedimentary layers, and ocean crust. The Ridge formed as a result of tectonic interactions between the North American, South American, and Caribbean Plates. Guanaja and the nearby islands of Roatan and Utila (not shown) comprise the only portions of the western Cayman Ridge currently exposed above water.

The island is also notable for its largely undeveloped character — the exception being highly concentrated development on Bonacca Cay, a small island (roughly 0.5 kilometers by 0.3 kilometers) located along the southeastern coastline of the main island. The main island has little in the way of roads or other infrastructure — a canal is the major means of traversing the island – making it an attractive destination for hikers and eco-tourists. The clear waters and reefs that almost completely encircle Guanaja also attract divers.

In 1998, hurricane Mitch destroyed almost all (97 percent) of the island’s mangrove forests, impacting coastal habitats and resulting in soil erosion. Regeneration of mangroves is slow and active reseeding efforts have been suggested as the only means to restore the forests.

SpaceRef staff editor.