NASA picture of Katiu Atoll
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 16°25′S 144°22′W / 16.417°S 144.367°W / -16.417; -144.367Coordinates: 16°25′S 144°22′W / 16.417°S 144.367°W / -16.417; -144.367
Archipelago Tuamotus
Area 232.5 km2 (89.8 sq mi) (lagoon)
10 km2 (4 sq mi) (above water)
Length 27 km (16.8 mi)
Width 12.5 km (7.77 mi)
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Tuamotus
Commune Makemo
Largest settlement Toini
Population 250[1] (2012)
NASA picture of Katiu Atoll.

Katiu, or Taungataki,[2] is an atoll of the central Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. It is located 23.5 kilometres (14.6 miles) west of Makemo Atoll's westernmost point.

Katiu Atoll is roughly oval in shape. It measures 27 kilometres (17 miles) in length with a maximum width of 12.5 kilometres (7.8 miles). Its total area, including the lagoon is 232.5 square kilometres (89.8 square miles) and a land area of approximately 10 square kilometres (4 square miles). There are many narrow islands on the north-eastern side of its long reef with a total land area of about 3 square kilometres (1 square mile). Its lagoon is connected to the ocean.

Katiu has a population of 250 inhabitants. The main occupations are fishing, copra harvesting and pearl farming. The most important village is called Toini; it is located on one of the long islands of the northeastern reef.[3]


The first recorded European to arrive to Katiu was Russian oceanic explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen in 1820 on ships Vostok and Mirni. He named this atoll "Osten-Saken" or "Saken".[4]

There is a territorial (domestic) airfield in Katiu which was inaugurated in 2001.[3]


Katiu belongs to the commune of Makemo, which consists of the atolls of Makemo, Haraiki, Marutea Nord, Katiu, Tuanake, Hiti, Tepoto Sud, Raroia, Takume, Taenga and Nihiru.


  1. "Population". Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  2. Young, J.L. (1899). "Names of the Paumotu Islands, with the old names so far as they are known.". Journal of the Polynesian Society. 8 (4): 264–268. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  3. 1 2 Oceandots - Katiu at the Wayback Machine (archived December 23, 2010)
  4. NZETC - Bellingshausen

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