GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH ›› 2008, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (1): 119-127.doi: 10.11821/yj2008010013

• Earth Surface Processes • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A study on the origin and classification of ocean islands

LIU Xi-qing1, LIU Hong-bin2   

  1. 1. Qingdao Institute of Marine Geology, Qingdao 266071, China;
    2. China Ocean University, Qingdao 266003, China
  • Received:2007-08-21 Revised:2007-12-15 Online:2008-01-25 Published:2008-01-25


Islands play an important role in marine economic development,oceanic right ascription,and national defense. So,the study of the origin classification of islands is of not only theoretic significance,but is of also important applied value.Traditionally, islands are divided into continental island, oceanic island(volcanic island, coral island) and alluvial island in the ocean. This kind of classification can no longer adapt to match the new progress in the Earth Science today. According to plate tectonic theory and oceanic landforms system,the paper explains the origin of islands,and a new classification system of ocean island is proposed. We divide islands into geotectonic-geomorphic system island(continental terrace island,island of island arc,island of oceanic basin,mid-oceanic ridge island)and exoenetic force-geomorphic system island(sand island,coral island). At the same time,traditional classification is revised,and islands are divided into continental island,oceanic island(volcanic island and coral island),sand island and tectonic melange complex island. Classification Tectonic or deposition Type of islands (example) Endogenic system Continental terrace Coastal continental island( Newfoundland Is.)Swell symon continental I.(Taiwan Is.)Continental volcanic I.(Weizhou Is.) Island arc & edge oceanic basin Island arc continental island (Sumatera Is.)Island arc volcanic island(Kraktau volcano Is.)Subducting accretion island(Mentawai Is. Andaman Is.) Ocean basin & micro continental block Aseismic ridges volcanic island(Hawaii Is. Line Is.)Microplate islands(Greenland Is.)Oceanic volcanic island(Loyalty Is.) Mid-oceanic ridge Mid-oceanic ridge volcanic island (Iceland Is. Easter Is.)Structure fault island (Revillagigedo Is.) Exogenetic force-geomorphic system island Mud-sand deposition Estuary sand island (Chongming Is.)barrer island (Caofeidian Is. )erosion sand island(Dongsha Is. ) Biology deposition Coral island(Maldives Is.)

Key words: island, origin, classification