less than 1 minute read



For a continent of its size Africa has very few islands lying off its coast. The major Mediterranean islands of Corsica, Sardinia, Sicily, Crete, and Cyprus owe their origins to the events that formed Europe's Alps, and are a part of the Eurasian plate, not Africa. Islands lying off Africa's Atlantic Coast like the Canaries, Azores, and even the Cape Verde Islands near North Africa are considered Atlantic structures. Two islands in the middle of the South Atlantic, Ascension and St. Helena, also belong to the Atlantic. Islands belonging to Equatorial Guinea as well as the island country of Sao Tome and Principe at the sharp bend of Africa off of Cameroon and Gabon are related to volcanic peaks of the Cameroon Mountains, the principal one being Mount Cameroon.

Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island after Greenland, New Guinea, and Borneo, is a geological part of ancient Gondwanaland. The island's eastern twothirds are composed of crystalline igneous rocks, while the western third is largely sedimentary. Although volcanism is now quiescent on the island, vast lava flows indicate widespread past volcanic activity. Madagascar's unique plant and animal species testify to the island's long separation from the mainland.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Adrenoceptor (adrenoreceptor; adrenergic receptor) to AmbientAfrica - Origin Of Africa, Continental Drift, General Features, East African Rift System, Human Evolution