Portal:Oceania

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Introduction

An orthographic projection of geopolitical Oceania

Oceania (UK: /ˌsiˈɑːniə, ˌʃi-, -ˈn-/, US: /ˌʃiˈæniə/ (About this soundlisten), /-ˈɑːn-/) is a geographic region which includes Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia. Spanning the eastern and western hemispheres, Oceania has a land area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903 sq mi) and has a population of 40 million. Situated in the southeast of the Asia-Pacific region, Oceania, when compared to continental regions, is the smallest in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.

Definitions of Oceania vary; however, the islands at the geographic extremes of Oceania are generally considered to be the Bonin Islands, a politically integral part of Japan; Hawaii, a state of the United States; Clipperton Island, a possession of France; the Juan Fernández Islands, belonging to Chile; and Macquarie Island, belonging to Australia. (The United Nations has its own geopolitical definition of Oceania, but this consists of discrete political entities, and so excludes the Bonin Islands, Hawaii, Clipperton Island, and the Juan Fernández Islands, along with Easter Island.) Oceania has a diverse mix of economies from the highly developed and globally competitive financial markets of Australia and New Zealand, which rank high in quality of life and human development index, to the much less developed economies that belong to countries such as Kiribati and Tuvalu, while also including medium-sized economies of Pacific islands such as Palau, Fiji and Tonga. The largest and most populous country in Oceania is Australia, with Sydney being the largest city of both Oceania and Australia. In the 1950s Indonesia and Philippines were removed from Oceania and added to Asia; this resulted in Oceania as a "great division" of the world being replaced by the concept of the continent of Australia.. In some countries (such as Brazil) however, Oceania is still regarded as a continent (Portuguese: continente) in the sense of "one of the parts of the world", and the concept of Australia as a continent does not exist.

Daily article

Niue coastline.

Niue is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. It is commonly known as "Rock of Polynesia". Although it is self-governing, it is in free association with New Zealand. This means that the sovereign in right of New Zealand is also the head of state of Niue, and most diplomatic relations are conducted by New Zealand on Niue's behalf.

The population is 2,145 (2003) and the capital is Alofi. At 260 km², Niue is one of the world's largest coral islands. The terrain consists of steep limestone cliffs along the coast with a central plateau rising to about 60 metres above sea level. A coral reef surrounds the island.

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Selected article

3-D image of Loihi seamount after the collapse of the peak.

Lōʻihi Seamount is an active undersea volcano located around 35 km (22 mi) off the southeast coast of the island of Hawaiʻi about 975 m (3,000 ft) below sea level. It lies on the flank of Mauna Loa, the largest shield volcano on Earth. Lōʻihi means "long" in Hawaiian.

Lōʻihi Seamount is the newest volcano in the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain, a string of volcanoes that stretches over 5,800 km (3,600 mi) northwest of Lōʻihi and the island of Hawaiʻi. Unlike most active volcanoes in the Pacific Ocean that make up the active plate margins on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Lōʻihi and the other volcanoes of the Hawaiian-Emperor seamount chain are hotspot volcanoes and formed well away from the nearest plate boundary. Volcanoes in the Hawaiian Islands arise from the Hawaiʻi hotspot, and as the youngest volcano in the chain, Lōʻihi is the only Hawaiian volcano in the deep submarine preshield stage of development.

Lōʻihi began forming around 400,000 years ago and is expected to begin emerging above sea level about 10,000–100,000 years from now. At its summit, Lōʻihi Seamount stands more than 3,000 m (10,000 ft) above the seafloor, making it taller than Mount St. Helens was before its catastrophic 1980 eruption. The summit is currently 975 m (3,000 ft) below sea level. A diverse microbial community resides around Lōʻihi's many hydrothermal vents.

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