Oceania is the name given to the region comprising of groups of islands in the Central and South Pacific Ocean. The continental region lies between Asia and America with Australia as the major landmass. The name Oceania is used instead of Australia because the ocean links the nations together. It is the smallest continent considering land area and second least populous after Antarctica.
Spanning over 3.3 million square miles, it comprises of several countries. These countries include Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Nauru, the Marshall Islands and Kiribati. Apart from that, it even includes several territories like Johnson Atoll, American Samoa and French Polynesia. Many scientists and geographers do not consider the sub division as correct, and they tend to partition the continent of Oceania into Near Oceania and Remote Oceania.
The Physical Geography
As far as, the physical geography is concerned, the islands here are often divided into different sub-regions. This division is made of the basis of geologic processes that played a role in their physical development.
Australia is separated because of its location and also the fact that there was no mountain building during the process of development. The current physical landscape of the country was formed by erosion.
The second categories of sub regions are the island found due to the collision of plates and are located mainly in the South Pacific. These include the Solomon Islands, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. Even the north Pacific portion features a similar landscape resulting in the formation of mountains in New Zealand.
Fiji is a volcanic island that belongs to the third category of landscape types in Oceania. They rise from the sea floor through hotspots.
The coral reef islands belong to the final category and include Tuvalu.