Brazil has oceanic and continental islands

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Oceanic and continental islands of Brazil
Islands of Brazil

The thermilogical differentiation between these two types, oceanic and continental islands, is related to the greater or lesser distance from the continent.

If the island is close to the continental coast, it is a continental island and if it is far away, lost in the middle of the oceans, it is called oceanic.

1. Oceanic Islands

The oceanic islands of Brazil are
  1. Fernando de Noronha archipelago
  2. Islands of Trindade and Martim Vaz
  3. The cliffs of São Pedro and São Paulo
  4. Rocas atoll

They are located more than 150 km off the Brazilian coast, in the middle of the Atlantic.

1.1. Fernando de Noronha Archipelago

It is located 360 kilometres from the coast of Rio Grande do Norte, and is formed by several volcanic islands. In 1998 it was integrated as a municipality of Pernambuco, it is the only Brazilian oceanic archipelago that is inhabited by a fixed population.

The climate in the archipelago is tropical semi-arid, the vegetation is scarce, and the relief is volcanic mountainous.

Tubarões no Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha

1.2. Islands de Trindade e Martim Vaz

Of volcanic origin, these islands are located 1,200 km from Espírito Santo. They are uninhabited, but the Brazilian Navy has a base on Trindade Island.

1.3. Penedos de São Pedro e São Paulo

It is formed by a set of small islands of volcanic origin, with extensions of a maximum of 600m, and the height does not exceed 20m above the oceanic waters. They do not have any type of vegetation, and are used by seabirds as a landing place.

1.4. Rocas Atoll

It is located between Fernando de Noronha and the coast of Rio Grande do Norte. It is surrounded by reefs, corals, and inhabited by a wide variety of plant and animal species.

Since 1979, the site has been a biological reserve with the objective of preservation, studies and research. Access to this area is restricted, being only explored for research by small groups accompanied by Ibama monitors.

2. Continental Islands

Continental islands are those that form as a kind of extension of the continent, and are also called residual islands.

They are almost always formed by the erosion of continental areas, which causes part of the land to be invaded by the seas, isolating some points.

In some cases, they are subclassified as fluvial-marine, when on one side we have the sea and on the other we have the river, such as Marajó Island.

2.1. Santa Catarina Island (SC)

The island is the largest of an archipelago consisting of more than 30 islands, most of which belong to the municipality of Florianópolis. In addition to these, islands of neighbouring municipalities such as Anhatomirim Island, Cabras Island, Arvoredo Island, Deserta Island and Galés Island are part of the archipelago, among others.

The island of Santa Catarina is connected to the mainland by three bridges, the Hercílio Luz bridge, the Colombo Salles bridge and the Pedro Ivo Campos bridge. These bridges span a channel that is about 500 metres wide and up to 28 metres deep. The strait formed gives its name to one of the continental neighbourhoods of the city and delimits the South and North bays. 

2.2.  Isla de Marajó (PA)

With an area of 40,100 km², it is the largest coastal island in Brazil and the largest fluviomaritime island on the planet (bathed at the same time by both river and ocean waters), bathed by the Amazon River to the west and northwest, by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and northeast, by the Marajó Bay to the east and southeast and by the complex of distributary channels of the Tocantins River and the Pará River to the south;

2.3. São Luis Island (MA)

São Luís (often called São Luís do Maranhão) is a Brazilian municipality and the capital of the state of Maranhão.

2.4. Ilhabela (SP)

Ilhabela is one of the only Brazilian marine archipelago municipalities and is located on the north coast of the state of São Paulo.

2.5. Ilha do Mel (PR)

Ilha do Mel is a Brazilian island located at the mouth of the bay of Paranaguá, in the state of Paraná.  

2.6. Ilha de Itamaracá (PE)

Ilha de Itamaracá is a Brazilian municipality in the state of Pernambuco, in the Metropolitan Region of Recife. The area of the municipality corresponds to the whole of the homonymous island, located on the north coast of Pernambuco and separated from the mainland by the Santa Cruz channel which, for some scholars, gave rise to the name “Pernambuco”;

2.7. Itaparica Island (BA)

Itaparica Island is the largest sea island in Brazil. It is located in the Bay of All Saints, in the state of Bahia, and its 239 square kilometres of surface are divided between the municipalities of Itaparica and Vera Cruz. It is more than 36 kilometres long. 

Brazil has oceanic islands and continental islands

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