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Analysis of What an Island is

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Analysis of What an Island is essay

“Nights and days came and passed and summer and winter and the rain. And it was good to be a little Island. A part of the world and a world of its own. All surrounded by the bright blue sea.” à Margaret Wise Brown.

What is an island?

10% of the world population comes from islands. A piece of land surrounded completely by water is called an island. Island sizes varies as it can be found in Oceans, lakes, rivers or seas thus it can be relatively small or hundreds of square miles in size. There are various types of islands as the formation can vary from volcanic eruption to man-made islands.

Types of Islands:

  1. Continental islands: Pieces of land that was once connected to a continent but due to the shifting of tectonic plates got separated. Those get surrounded by water thus making it an island. Examples are Greenland and Madagascar, very large islands that were formed in those conditions.
  2. Oceanic islands: Mostly of volcanic origins. When tectonic plates shift at a subduction zone, volcanic eruptions might take place and lead to the formation of an island. The Japanese islands have been formed in this manner. The country of Japan lies at the site of 4 tectonic plates. Two of these plates, the Eurasian and the North American plates, are linked to continental shelves. These plates are lighter than the two ocean plates, namely the Pacific plate and the Philippine plate. Thus, during tectonic activities, the heavy oceanic plates are sub ducted beneath the lighter continental plates leading to volcanic activities and island formation.
  3. Artificial islands: Man-made islands, created for multiple purposes such as the extension of habitable land, for agriculture or tourism. Example of this can be seen in Dubai the World, the Palm Jumeirah and the Palm Jebel Ali.
  4. Barrier islands: Islands that’s parallel to the coastline and divides the ocean from the mainland. These islands are useful as a protection for the coastline from storms and heavy waves. Barrier islands can be formed by the deposition of sediments like gravel or sand. It can also be formed by billions of coral exoskeletons. An example for such an island is the Outer Banks Island off the southeastern coast of America.
  5. Coral islands: Built of coral these islands are usually located in warm waters of the tropical oceans. As corals grow in colonies it expands and as it grows in size surfaces above the water to form coral islands. To strengthen the structure of those islands sand and cement are used. Examples of such islands are the Bahamas islands.
  6. Tidal islands: Continental islands that get submerged in water during high tides. Mainland is not cut off but rather a part is filled with water making a particular part look like an island. The Mont Saint-Michel Island is France is an example of a tidal island.

Usefulness of islands: Islands can be used for various purposes from them being used as a fortress or used as land for plantation. Here are some examples:

  • Islands of civilization: Britain, Japan, Madagascar.
  • Islands of settlement: Australia and New Zeeland.
  • Plantation islands: Mauritius and Reunion.
  • Islands as fiefs: Sicily and Haiti.
  • Islands as fortress: Singapore during interwar.
  • Entrepot islands: Singapore
  • Islands of refuge: Cuba (USA), Taiwan (China).
  • Islands as strategic locations: Chagos, Diego Garcia.

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Analysis Of What An Island Is. (2019, February 11). GradesFixer. Retrieved October 4, 2022, from
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