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Ireland (left) and Great Britain (right), are islands of north-west Europe
Bangchuidao Island is an islet composed mostly of rock, in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China.
The islands of Fernando de Noronha, Brazil, are the visible parts of submerged mountains.

An island is a piece of land that is surrounded by a body of water such as a lake, river, sea or ocean.[1] Islands are smaller than continents. Although there are many Islands that surround fresh water, the vast majority of them surround oceans.

Greenland and Australia are huge islands, but they are built of continental rock, and the latter is generally considered a continent. The most ancient part of continental rock is far older and chemically more complex than the rock of the sea floor.

The heart of continents is their cratons, which are the most ancient and stable parts of the Earth's crust. In the cratons are all the rare elements needed for electronic equipment. They were swept up as the Sun moved through areas where supernovae had exploded. The rare elements we need were all got indirectly from supernovae explosions. The Sun's energy comes from turning hydrogen into helium.

There are some islands which do have rare elements, and that is a sign that they were once part of a large supercontinent. So Great Britain was once part of a supercontinent. The oldest rocks are 2,700 million years old, and include many rare elements only found in cratons.[2] Britain is a snapped-off piece of the Old Red Sandstone continent, now known as Laurasia.

Other islands that were formed from the ocean floor, as Japan, and Hawaii were, lack most of the rare elements. Japan has for many years since WWII imported iron ore from Australia. Its seizing of Manchukuo (~Manchuria) and the infamous attack on Pearl Harbour no doubt had many reasons. Lack of raw materials was one of these [3] Now it looks for potential in its nearby deep-sea muds.[4]


Big islands[change | change source]

In Europe[change | change source]

Other places[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. Society, National Geographic (2012-08-27). "island". National Geographic Society. Retrieved 2020-12-07.
  2. Toghill, Peter 2000. The geology of Britain: an introduction. Shrewsbury: Swan Hill Press. ISBN 1-85310-890-1
  3. Yamamuro, Shin'ichi. 2006. Manchuria under Japanese dominion. U. of Pennsylvania Press.
  4. Takaya, Yutaro 2018. The tremendous potential of deep-sea mud as a source of rare-earth elements. Nature. 8 (1): 5763. [1] doi:10.1038/s41598-018-23948-5. PMC 5893572. PMID 29636486.