Portal:Oceania

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The Oceania Portal

Map of Oceania

Oceania is a geographical (often geopolitical) region consisting of numerous countries and territories—mostly islands—in the Pacific Ocean. The exact scope of Oceania is controversial, with varying interpretations including East Timor, Australia, and New Zealand.

The primary use of the term Oceania is to describe a continental region (like Europe or Africa) that lies between Asia and the Americas, with Australia as the major land mass. The name Oceania is used, rather than Australasia, because unlike the other continental groupings, it is the ocean rather than the continent that links the nations together. Oceania is the smallest continental grouping in land area and the second smallest, after Antarctica, in population.

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Apia harbour at dawn during independence celebrations 2003.

The Independent State of Samoa is a country comprising a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. The entire group were known as the Navigators Islands, before the 20th century, due to the Samoans' excellent seafaring skills.

The Samoas are of volcanic origin and the total land area is 2934 km², consisting of the two large islands of Upolu and Savai'i which account for 96% of the total land area, and eight small islets. The main island of Upolu is home to nearly three-quarters of Samoa's population of 177,714 (Jul 2004 est) and its capital city is Apia.

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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.

ʻihi 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.

ʻihi 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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