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Islands have captured the mind's eye of scientists and the general public for centuries—unique and infrequent environments, their isolation makes them typical laboratories for ecology and evolution. This authoritative, alphabetically prepared reference, that includes greater than two hundred succinct articles by way of best scientists from worldwide, presents wide insurance of all of the island sciences. yet what precisely is an island? the quantity editors outline it the following as any discrete habitat remoted from different habitats by means of inhospitable atmosphere. The Encyclopedia of Islands examines many such insular settings—oceanic and continental islands in addition to locations comparable to caves, mountaintops, and whale falls on the backside of the sea. This crucial, one-stop source, largely illustrated with colour photos, transparent maps, and portraits will introduce island technology to a large viewers and spur extra study on a few of the planet's so much attention-grabbing habitats.

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8–3. five cm in line with yr by way of seafloor spreading alongside the MidAtlantic Ridge, a submarine mountain variety setting apart the sea into an japanese and a western basin. The Atlantic harbors a couple of islands of generally volcanic beginning that have quite a lot of maritime climates, from polar within the excessive latitudes to tropical round the equator (Fig. 1). lots of those islands and linked seamounts, for instance the Canary Islands, shape volcanic chains, which reflect circulation of the underlying tectonic plates over a hotspot. total, those volcanic chains are much less conspicuous and no more widespread within the Atlantic than within the Pacific. this text provides an outline of the Atlantic’s islands, their a long time, and the way they have been shaped; it's orga- mgg/topo/globe. html). nized by way of geographic-geologic teams approximately from north to south. ICELAND, SURTSEY, FAROE ISLANDS Iceland is a hugely energetic volcanic island, positioned simply the place a hotspot meets the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. it's the purely position the place the west-east spreading of the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates could be witnessed on land. The oldest rocks of Iceland (formed thirteen to sixteen million years in the past) are consequently uncovered at its western and japanese ends, and the youngest rocks are came upon in the direction of the heart. The reason for the hotspot and for the uplift of the Iceland plateau is a deep-seated mantle plume, the song of that's represented via the Greenland-Faroe ridge, which shaped throughout the commencing of the northeast Atlantic. The Faroe Islands signify an previous degree of the Iceland hotspot; they're of volcanic starting place and consist predominantly of lava flows among fifty four and fifty eight million years outdated. AT L A N T I C R E G I O N sixty three Iceland’s volcanically energetic parts are the Western, jap, and northern Volcanic Zones, that are rift zones crossing the island in north-south to northeast-southwest instructions. the present locus of the Iceland plume axis is on the Vatnajökull glacier, the place subglacial volcanic eruptions periodically reason huge meltwater floods referred to as jökulhlaups. among 1963 and 1967, volcanism off southwest Iceland gave beginning to Surtsey Island, that is one of many youngest islands on this planet and a vintage normal reserve for the examine of biocolonization. The volcanic task of Iceland can also be reflected via plentiful scorching springs and geysers. Iceland consists basically of basaltic lavas and pyroclastics erupted from fissures and defend volcanoes. significant volcanoes situated inside of fissure swarms have additionally produced rhyolitic ash-flow deposits in calderaforming eruptions. approximately eleven% of Iceland’s land sector is roofed via glaciers, and approximately part is of Quaternary volcanic starting place forming a lot of the inhospitable and uninhabited important highland. regardless of its position instantly south of the Arctic Circle, Iceland’s weather is temperate end result of the Gulf Stream’s moderating influence. ISLANDS OFF NORTHWESTERN AFRICA (MACARONESIA) Macaronesia (Greek for “fortunate islands”) covers the archipelagoes of the Azores (Portugal), Madeira with Selvagens (Portugal), the Canary Islands (Spain), and Cape Verde, that have friendly subtropical to tropical climates.

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