Encyclopedia of the World's Coastal Landforms

2010 Edition
| Editors: Eric C. F. Bird

Atlantic Ocean Islands – Editorial Introduction

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8639-7_51
The Atlantic Ocean was initiated about 140 million years ago in the Late Jurassic when the disruption of the ancient megacontinent of Pangaea was followed by westward movement of the American Plate and eastward movement of the Eurasian and African Plates. It is still widening by up to 10 cm/year. The divergence was marked by the formation of the mid-Atlantic Ridge by the extrusion of basalt, resulting in the formation of a series of volcanic islands extending from Jan Mayen Island in the north to Bouvet Island in the south: the series includes Iceland, the Azores, St Peter and Paul Rocks, Ascension, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island. In addition, Greenland is a largely ice-covered island of continental Pre-Cambrian and younger rocks projecting into the NW Atlantic and the Falkland Islands are also of continental rocks, with a Pre-Cambrian basement overlain by Mesozoic formations on the South American shelf. The  Bahamas and  Bermudaare islands of limestone and associated...


Canary Island Tectonic Uplift Falkland Island African Plate Cape Verde Island 
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  1. Hansom JD (2005) Atlantic Ocean islands, coastal geomorphology. In: Schwartz ML (ed) Encyclopedia of Coastal Science. Dordrecht, Springer, pp 88–95CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010