Islands, capes, and also peninsulas are bodies of land the are partly or completely surrounded by water. They differ in size, yet inevitably are prominent landmasses.

You are watching: Difference between a cape and a peninsula


The summer-vegetated Anacapa Island and other islands of Channel Islands nationwide Park, California light orange at sunset. During the last ice cream Age, the northern islands were part of one large island. When the continent ice sheets melted, sea level rose and the islands ended up being separated by water.


A cape is any type of land the extends out right into water, specifically a promontory (a narrow item of land that extends native the coast into the open water) that is far-reaching for navigation. Some renowned capes around the civilization are the Cape of great Hope, a like the mountain promontory southern of Cape Town, southern Africa, and near the southern suggest of Africa; Cape Morris Jesup in Greenland, the world"s northernmost point of floor (excluding the phibìc polar ice cream cap); and Cape Cod, a sandy landmass in southeastern Massachusetts that develops a broad curve enclosing Cape ko Bay.

Cape Cod.

areas that save capes traditionally attract people because of their proximity to open up water, while help to isolate citizens from inland areas. The tendency for overpopulation, coupled with the secluded nature that a cape and also proximity come oceans, frequently leads to troubles in finding resources of fresh water and also for the sufficient disposal that wastes. Coordinated planning and also management frequently is required to guide development.

because that example, the Cape Cod commission was developed in 1990 by an plot of the Massachusetts general Court. As a an outcome of intense development in the 1980s, the Commission uncovered that the an ar was at threat of uncoordinated or unreasonable use due to the fact that of its unique seaside attractions and also resources. The commission was developed as a local planning and regulatory agency to design and also implement a local land-use plan policy for all of the Cape ko area.

as soon as surveyed, the bulk of Cape ko residents declared that they wanted the Cape Cod commission to protect groundwater; encourage only clean, light industries, cultural facilities, and also neighborhood businesses; safeguard homes native the fragile seaside environment; and restrict development that would injury the Cape. Castle realized that unplanned growth had carried traffic jams, mounting sewage and water quality problems, and also congestion the a formerly rural area. Every were viewed as environmental warnings that a strong regional planning effort was necessary for Cape Cod.


The difference between an island and also a continent is based rather arbitrarily on the relative size the the landmass. An island is any comparatively small body of land completely surrounded by water. The biggest island is Greenland (see sidebar), recognized locally as Kalaallit Nunaat, located in the north Atlantic Ocean close to Canada. It is a region of the Kingdom of Denmark, but has in your ar governed itself because 1979. In comparison, the the smallest continent is Australia, through an area roughly 3.5 time the size of Greenland. Even though Australia is surrounding by the ocean, is not taken into consideration an island.

archipelago can take place in groups or chains. One archipelago is a chain of islands that space close come one another. The Aleutian islands of Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands are both archipelagos. The Philippines room composed the 7,100 islands, around 1,000 that which space inhabited, and 2,500 that which stay unnamed. The city of Venice, Italy is built on 118 little alluvial islands. In between these islands run about 150 canals, which are crossed by an ext than 400 bridges.

Island Formation.

Islands form in a number of ways. As soon as sea level rise, together they have at the conclusion of every of the ice periods , islands may be developed as previous seaside highlands are separated by the climbing water. Together islands are discovered off the coasts of Maine, Scotland, and also Norway. The subsidence, or sinking, of land might separate landmasses, such together in the british Isles, Sicily, and Japan. Islands may be created at the mouths of big rivers during the formation of deltas .

islands in deeper oceans are developed by the emergence of the peaks that submarine volcanoes, which space sometimes increased in dimension by ongoing volcanic eruptions, or by deposits of coral , or both. The original island might sink beneath the surface as the result of lithospheric bowl movement, so the the entire visible structure is written of coral. Practically all depths oceanic islands consist of volcanic rocks: because that example, the Solomon Islands, the islands of Micronesia and also Polynesia, the Azores, the Aleutians, Midway Island, Ascension Island, Tristan Da Cunha, and the Hawaiian Islands. Native a geologic perspective, these islands are reasonably young (less than 50 million years).

numerous of the bigger islands, in contrast, have actually a much more diverse geologic assembly consisting of sedimentary and also metamorphic rocks and volcanic: because that example, Greenland, great Britain, brand-new Zealand, and also Honshu. These bigger islands regularly contain much older rocks: Greenland, because that example, consists of some the the earliest rocks top top Earth.


A peninsula is a strip of land mostly surrounded by water and connected come a bigger landmass by a narrow isthmus. The hatchet "peninsula" is native the Latin words because that "almost island." most of the state that Florida is a peninsula, as is most of the nation of Italy. Bounded on the west through the Tyrrhenian


St. Petersburg Beach, Florida illustrates the hefty human advance typically discovered on peninsulas. This photograph additionally shows one area the sand buildup (accretion) and removal (erosion) because of nearshore currents (see "Beaches" for an explanation).
Sea, top top the eastern by the Adriatic Sea, and on the southern by the Mediterranean Sea, Italy is a major economic force on the european continent, no doubt in part because it has coasts on 3 of its 4 sides.

Isthmus the Panama.

The Isthmus the Panama, another famous peninsula, is a narrow strip of land linking main and southern America and also comprising the Republic that Panama. The is bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea and Costa Rica, and on the south by the Gulf of Panama, the Pacific Ocean, and also Colombia.

The development of the Isthmus that Panama around 3.5 million years ago dramatically readjusted the evolution of marine animals. Before the isthmus to be formed, central and south America were not connected, allowing the waters that the Caribbean Sea and also the Pacific ocean to intermix.

once the Isthmus of Panama formed, it blocked that circulation of s currents and impacted the biology that populated both isthmus sides. For instance, the size of the corbulid bivalve mollusks in the Caribbean is half the size of those in the Pacific. As soon as the isthmus formed, the populace was separated into two. Researchers think that the size distinction is regarded the lose of nutrient-rich Pacific water flowing into the Caribbean. Research is proceeding to evaluate what other teams of animals were influenced by the Isthmus that Panama"s formation.

SEE also Bays, Gulfs, and Straits ; Canals ; Corals and Coral Reefs ; Land-Use to plan ; Marginal Seas ; Mid-Ocean Ridges ; plate Tectonics .


March, william M. eco-friendly Geography: Science, floor Use, and also Earth Systems, second ed. Brand-new York: john Wiley & Sons, 2002.

Strahler, Alan H. introducing Physical Geography, 3rd ed. Brand-new York: man Wiley & Sons, 2003.

web Resources

Greenland. central Intelligence Agency. .

Island Formation. . .

peak Ten largest Islands. district of Prince Edward Island, Canada. .

Welcome to the net Site the the Cape ko Commission. Cape Cod board of directors .


See more: Why Is The Heart Called A Double Pump ? Why Is The Human Heart Called A Double Pump

The ten largest islands in the civilization are as follows. Areal level is provided in square kilometers (km 2 ) and square miles (mi 2 ).
Greenland 2,176,000 km 2
840,000 mi 2 ;
brand-new Guinea (Asia) 800,300
Borneo (Asia) 743,300
Madagascar (Africa) 586,600
Baffin Island (Canada) 507,500
Sumatra (Indonesia) 473,600
Honshu (Japan) 231,000
great Britain (United Kingdom) 230,000
Victoria Island (Canada) 217,300
Ellesmere Island (Canada) 196,200