Reference work entry
This is a landscape of islands in oceans, lakes or rivers. Islands can be large and small. Small islands are called islets (in Chinese, ‘Yu’), such as Gulangyu, Huapingyu and Chiweiyu in China. Land surrounded by water on three sides is called a peninsula. An area with two or more islands in a group is called an insular group. A large-scale insular group can be called an archipelago, whereas islands arrayed in a linear or arch-shaped arrangement are called a chain of islands. Based on the causes of formation, islands can be divided into (1) continental islands, which form due to crustal movement induced by land subsidence or sea rise, causing part of the land to be separated from the main continent; typical examples are Taiwan Island and Hainan Island in China; (2) oceanic islands, which form by the accumulation of erupted materials (mainly lava) from underwater volcanoes or by the accumulation of coral or remains of coral in coral reefs; the Hawaiian Islands are examples of the...
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