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§ 8. Oceania (textbook)

§ 8. Oceania


1. Remember that distinguish Island descent?

2. The name of a famous Ukrainian researcher is concerned the study population and the nature of Pacific islands Ocean?


GEOGRAPHICAL PROVISIONS. Oceania - This cluster of islands in central and south-western Pacific Ocean. This island world form  Over 7 thousand islands. Large Islands located in the western Pacific. Small and shallow, like bee swarms, scattered on the surface of the open ocean. Often these groups are located near from each other, forming archipelagos. Although Oceania is the largest cluster of islands on Earth, but for land among ocean waters nature had brought a humble place. The total area of all islands is only 1.3 million km2While water covered the vast area.  

Islands scattered between the subtropical latitudes of North hemisphere and temperate latitudes of the southern hemisphere. They lie at the crossroads sea routes from Asia to America and Australia. There are three in Oceania Parts: Melanesia (Translated from Greek means "Black Islands"), MicronesiaSmall Islands), Polynesia ("Many islands").


Fig. Oceania


Working with map

1.     What archipelagos form Micronesia, Melanesia, Polynesia?

2.     What continents are the closest Oceania neighbors?

3.     Give examples of continental islands. Where in the oceans they are?

4.     In what latitudes of the Pacific widespread coral islands?

5.     Norwegian Tour Heyyerdal made rafting on the port of Callao in South America (120 AP. sh. 770W. on) to the Tuamotu islands (210 AP. sh. 1350 W. etc.). A Frenchman Eric Bishop on where raft swam off the coast of Tahiti in South America. What travelers used the flow?


ISLANDS And their origin. Origin, geographical location and size of the islands of Oceania are closely related to the structure bottom of the Pacific. They are surface reflection of underwater ocean topography, because their islands bases lie on the ocean floor.

Mainland islands were once a part of the mainland, vid'yednalysya that from him because of land subsidence areas below sea level. These islands are located offshore. For example, several dozen thousand years is the largest island of Oceania New Guinea Australia was connected to the 150-kilometer bridge. Her sinking only 30 m leads to a Torres Strait. Mainland and the islands of origin are New Zealand.

Volcanic Islands are surface peaks largest undersea volcanoes, which lie at the foot of the great depths (up to 5 km). These islands are small, rocky on top of existing or extinct cones volcanoes. They are mostly groups. For example, Hawaii- It's 24 islands that stretch 500 km 2. They quite formed a powerful spout of lava submarine and terrestrial volcanic eruptions millions of years ago. The largest of the islands - Hawaii - Formed by extinct and existing volcanoes. Among them is the highest peak in Polynesia - volcano Mauna Kea (4 210 m).

Coral Islands  formed by marine organisms -  coral polyps that live inside calcareous skeletons. Polyps are very selective in habitat: live only in warm waters (Not below   20 0С) a small depth (30 - 50 m), where enough oxygen and light. Prykriplyuyuchys to bottom theyyvlyatsya plankton and grow Up and breadth. Accumulation of coral skeletons form Reefs - Take long strips or atolls - Small Islands annular shape. The foundation for corals usually serves as the top underwater volcano. Therefore, many volcanic islands surrounded by coral reefs. All coral structures rise above the water only a few meters. Because coral Islands are low. They rarely rise above 5 m above sea level and almost notable among water areas. That is why the legend says that residents Oceania "vyvudyly" their  Islands with ocean floor.


Fig. Coral island in Oceania


NATURAL CONDITIONS. Geographical Location Oceania among the huge water space, small size and remoteness of islands from the mainland have caused extraordinary originality of their nature. They say Oceania - a possession ocean. And Indeed, relief, climate, flora and fauna bear prints oceanic influence.

Relief rugged, volcanic islands, coral - low-lying. On a large continental islands mountains combined with plains.

Climate warm and soft, because Most islands lie in the equatorial and tropical latitudes, the moderate comes only New Zealand. High air temperatures (250). However, the heat soften the damp winds from the ocean. They cause heavy rains, because a large amount of rainfall - more than 4 000 mm per year. On the windward slopes high volcanoes of Hawaii is naymokrishe place on earth: there fall 12 500 mm of rain per year. Conversely, in the leeward slopes of precipitation is very small (200 mm). In the Pacific tropical cyclones arise, which Northern Hemisphere are called typhoons and in South - hurricanes. Most of them is in the southwest Pacific. They lead to large destruction. Overall, however, despite these dangerous natural phenomena, as islands never nor cold nor hot. So consider climate Oceania most comfortable on Earth.

Vegetation various islands. Through difference in moistening (or much, or little rainfall) distributed evergreen moist forests and dry savannas. The forests grow coconut and sago, mellon and breadfruit trees, wife of the artist, orchids. Among the many useful wild plants - mahogany trees (sandalwood and iron) plants with juicy fruits (Papaya, mango, banana) plant, which give spices (ginger, nutmeg, pepper). But first, of course, is coconut trees.

Coral islands with poor soils that are deposited thin layer of coral limestone, have poor travyanystu vegetation. Their decoration is only groves of coconut palms. Interestingly, the volcanic and coral islands zaselyalysya plants by wind, currents and even birds who tolerated their pollen, seeds and nuts.

In many Pacific endemics- Plant and animal species that occur nowhere else. Yes, only in New Threaded Zealand grow ferns and cabbage trees. Today on island natural forests almost together. In their place lie Plantation crops.

Wildlife poor islands. Among terrestrial animals almost no mammals (except mice and rats). But many birds - Paradise, pigeons, parrots, chickens wasty. The lack of predators led to the emergence of birds without wings - and kahu kiwi. In the recent past in New Zealand was known for some giant (Height 4 m) wingless birds Moa, eggs which weighed 7 kg! The islands are missing and poisonous snakes. There are reptiles - gecko, iguanas, lizards, Tuatara. In waters that washed reefs and islands, live flying fish, sharks, sea turtles and snakes. In distribution of animals large role played man. Brought her dogs, cats, pigs greatly multiplied and then run wild.

Interesting geography

Bread Oceania

Translated from the Portuguese coco means monkey. His name cocopalm received from the Vasco da Gama sailors. Its fruit - nut, covered with fibrous shell reminded them simian jaw. This useful plant is fairly called Queen palms, bread Oceania. Palm trunk is excellent building material. From the small seven-meter giant leaves make a roof and brooms, weave ropes and hats. Since receiving flowers and palm sugar palm wine. However, all these palm benefits can not be compared with fruits. 8-kg young nut contains half a liter of coconut milk - oily liquid that soothes the thirst well. Has matured nut milk instead of white pulp - copra. Crushed copra - coconut - sprinkled with various sweets. From it made a wonderful coconut oil. In the modern era of oil have learned avtopalyvo produce - were buses and taxis with coconut motors.


Settlement Oceania and lives. People settled in the Pacific Islands many years ago. But scientists finally figured out which way it happened. Most believe that inhabited islands originated from Southeast Asia. But there are other opinions. In particular Norwegian explorer-traveler Tour Heyyerdal assumes that the first People came in from South America, Oceania. To prove its reliability T. Heyyerdal assumption in 1947 made a voyage on a wooden raft "Kon-Tiki" from the Pacific coast of South America to the islands Polynesia. Thus, the ancient people who were skillful navigators were the cross the ocean on boats papirusnyh using ocean currents.


Fig. Village in Tahiti


Now living in Oceania about 10 million people. Among them are indigenous, they came and mixed population. Indigenous people, such as New Guinea and surrounding islands - Papuan belonging to avstraloyidnoyi race. On the other islands of the population belongs to a special Polynesian groups which occupies an intermediate position between the major races. In Oceania and many lives descendants of immigrants from Europe.

His independent States Pacific nations have created recently. For a long time the islands were colonies- Knowledge of other countries. Some of them now remain overseas in France, USA, New Zealand and others.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

The population is engaged mainly in agriculture. Especially  developed tropical agriculture: growing coconut trees, bananas, pineapples, sugar cane. It involves industry that produces coconut oil and sugar preserves and fruit juices and others. Only on some islands mined ore nonferrous metals, coal, phosphates. Great importance in the economy of an international tourism. The life of the islanders traditionally associated with fishing in the ocean - fishing, turtles, Sea Cucumber, whales.


Fig. Domestic Life Pacific islands has not been significant changes in the last centuries


LOCATIONS Oceania. New Zealand Power to call World's End. It located on two large islands (North and South) and several small. Country has a different nature - coated ice-capped mountains and sandy beaches, lush tropical forests and green meadows, volcanoes and geysers. Aboriginal inhabitants - the Maori - is a small proportion population. The majority - are descendants of European immigrants, mainly British. Over one hundred years ago New Zealand was colony of Great Britain. Now an independent state. The population breeds cattle and sheep, grow wheat, maize, barley, beans, apples and grapes. New Zealand is a leading global supplier of fruit kiwi. In coastal waters of New Zealanders fishing fish and shellfish. Developed food industry that processes milk, meat, grain, fish. There are also production of fabrics, aluminum and plastics. Big income of the country gives tourism. So picturesque landscapes that attract tourists from around the world called the fundamental resource of New Zealand.


Area - 269 thousand   km2

Population - 4 million   man

Capital -   Wellington



Republic of Fiji Islands located hundreds of volcanic and coral islands in the southwestern Pacific. In last country was a colony of Great Britain, and gained independence in 1970 Fidzhyyski by farmers growing ginger, sugar cane, coconut palm, pineapples. Bred goats, pigs and poultry. It is important to fishing. The islands produce gold, silver, copper and aluminum ore and limestone. But gives the biggest gains  production sugar, which is almost entirely exported to other countries, and the influx of tourists, attract coral reefs and beaches.


Area - 18.3 thousand   km2.

Population - 891   thousand

Capital - Suva


Fig. Business center Suvy. Fiji


Fig. Fishing boat. Fiji


Vanuatu - A Pacific country consists of 80 islands. On the map they had brought the English navigator James Cook end of the XVIIIth. Most islands are peaks of underwater mountains. Some - Active volcanoes. There are coral islands, reefs bordered with bright blue lagoons. Tropical climate with abundant rainfall and warm weather allows year-round grow bananas, yams and cassava - basic food islanders. In other country's export copra - dried coconut kernel and cocoa. Large gives tourism income. In the past the country was a colony, being under common Board of Great Britain and France. The independence of the island received in 1980

Area - 12,2 thousand   km2.

Population - 205.2   thousand

Capital -   Port Vila


Kingdom of Tonga consists of 170 volcanic islands as well as coral  origin. However, permanent population is only 45 of them, the rest - uninhabited. In XVIIIth. James Cook called the islands their friendship because islanders took his team to a heat. Tonga - unique in Oceania monarchy- Ie the country where the head of state is the king, whose power is transmitted hereditary. Tonhantsi grow taro, yams, sweet potatoes, vegetables, watermelons. There are coconut plantations palms, bananas and citrus. In other countries export copra, coconut oil, fish, vanilla pods, used in the confectionery industry. In the past century Islands were a colony of Great Britain. In 1970 they became independent country. 

Area - 0,7 thousand   km2

Population - 112   thousand

Capital -   Nuku'alofa



Fig. Coconut palms on the coast of Tonga


ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS. People with their business activities rapidly changing nature of the islands of Oceania. Where there were woods, there plantation crops. Coastal water pollution. Brought from other parts of the world animals are also harmful to nature. Thus, on islands multiplied rats, feral cats and began to hunt birds. Goats and rabbits destroyed much of the vegetation that has caused a washed soil. Great problem was and the transformation of some islands (Bikini, Guam, Mururoa) In military training areas. Some held testing of atomic bombs. All this leads to the natural equilibrium the destruction of natural islands.

In addition, the wilderness, and lives in the ocean much depend on natural disasters - typhoons, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Any of islands every hundred years can be devastated.


Fig. Nuclear weapons testing at Mururoa Atoll (1966)

FAQ task

1. Are the Pacific Islands included in Oceania? Give evidence of your reply.

2. Describe the geographical provisions of Oceania. Give examples of the archipelago, situated in Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

3. What types of islands origin circulating in Oceania?

4. Why are oceans where dominates wet and dry climate where there?

5. What plants and animals frequently in Oceania?

6. What type of business people engaged in activities on the islands of Oceania?

7. Organisation of tourism on the islands of Oceania is one of major sources of income of local people. Identify the positive and negative features of tourist activity for the island countries. Try to make rules of tourists on the islands of Oceania.