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The Lesser Sunda Islands

8.5S 121.8E

June 28th, 2009 Category: Snapshots

Lesser Sunda Islands - June 23rd, 2009

Lesser Sunda Islands - June 23rd, 2009

The Lesser Sunda Islands, also called the Nusa Tenggara, are a group of islands in the middle-south part of Maritime Southeast Asia. Together with the Greater Sunda Islands to the west they make up the Sunda Islands. The islands are part of a volcanic arc, the Sunda Arc, formed by subduction along the Java Trench.

The Lesser Sunda Islands consist of two geologically distinct archipelagos. The northern archipelago, which includes Flores (left, center), Sumbawa (full image, west of Flores),  Lombok (full image, west of Sumbawa), Bali (full image, left edge) and Wetar, is volcanic in origin.

The islands of the southern archipelago, on the other hand, including Sumba (left edge, below center), Timor (right edge, center) and Babar, are non-volcanic.

Lying at the collision of two tectonic plates, the Lesser Sunda Islands comprise some of the most geologically complex and active regions in the world. Biodiversity and distribution is affected by various tectonic activities.

The Lesser Sunda Islands differ from the large islands of Java or Sumatra containing many small islands as well as deep oceanic trenches. Flora and fauna immigration between islands is restricted, leading to the evolution of a high rate of localized species.

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