Campbell, John Department of Geography, Tourism, and Environmental Planning, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
Bedford, Richard D. Department of Geography, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
Last reviewed:May 2020
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- Island types
- Island landscapes
- Natural hazards
- Human impact
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A geographic designation that includes thousands of mainly small coral and volcanic islands scattered across the Pacific Ocean from Palau in the west to Easter Island in the east. Island archipelagos off the coast of the Asian mainland, such as Japan, Philippines, and Indonesia, are not included even though they are located within the Pacific Basin. The large island constituting the mainland of Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya is also excluded, as are the continent of Australia and the islands that make up Aotearoa or New Zealand. The latter, together with the Asian Pacific archipelagos, contain much larger landmasses, with a greater diversity of resources and ecosystems, than the oceanic islands, commonly labeled Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia (Fig. 1). See also: Australia; New Zealand; Oceanic islands
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