The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission shows us an amazing view of the tropical island of Tutuila, the largest in the American Samoa archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean.
Zoom in to explore this image at its full 10 m resolution or click on the circles to learn more.
American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the US and is part of the Samoan Islands chain, situated some 4000 km southwest of Hawaii and about 3000 km northwest of New Zealand. The eastern part of the chain of islands forms the American Samoa, while the western part forms the independent state of Samoa.
American Samoa comprises five volcanic islands, Tutuila, Aunu'u, Tau, Ofu and Olosega, and two coral atolls, Rose and Swains.
Tutuila is a small, narrow island and home to many volcanic mountains. At 653 m, Mount Matafao, which lies in the centre of the island, is the highest. The mountain range, which cuts across the island, is rugged with steep cliffs dominating the northern part of the island. The south is flatter. Coral reefs create barriers to the open sea, resulting in lagoons, visible in turquoise, prominent off the southern coast.
Tutuila is home to the capital of American Samoa, Pago Pago, which lies on the deepest inlet that divides the island nearly in two. Served by a busy harbour, the Pago Pago urban area encompasses several villages and popular beaches. It also features part of the National Park of American Samoa, where thick tropical rainforest and pristine coral reefs are protected. The park is the only US national park in the South Pacific. About 10 km southwest of the city, the runways of the Pago Pago International Airport, partly built on a fringing reef, can be easily spotted in the image.
The small volcanic island off the southeast coast of Tutuila is Aunu’u. It covers about 1.5 sq km and features the Faimulivai Marsh, a freshwater marsh visible as a dark area on the eastern part of the island. A protected National Natural Landmark, the Faimulivai Marsh was formed from drainage of the low-lying Aunu’u Crater and is the largest such wetland in American Samoa.