Table 1 : Classification of the french polynesian atolls by Salvat (1985) and types of atolls. In this classification open and closed mean respectively with and without a pass.

Type of atoll

Example

Submerged

Récif Portland

Open 3-passes

Amanu

Open 2-passes

Rangiroa

Open 1-pass, large and deep, with submerged coral plate on the sides

Moruroa

Open narrow 1-pass 

Hao

Closed with a large part of the ring submerged or flushing the surface

Scilly

Closed with many hoa

Reao

Closed with coconut trees everywhere and a few hoa

Takapoto

Completly closed, oceanic water when bad weather, cyclones and tsunamis

Taiaro

Quite filled up, a sandy lagoon sableux with resident waters

Puka Puka

Filled up, with coconut trees in the lagoon

Nukutavake

Raised

Makatea

 

Fig. 3: Schemes of the différent types of atolls based on how they communicate with the open sea (Salvat, 1985).