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CONTINENTAL CRUSTAL FRAGMENTS, partially synonymous with MICROCONTINENTS, are fragments of continents that have been broken off from main continental masses forming distinct islands, often several hundred kilometers from their place of origin. All continents are fragments; the terms "continental fragment" and "microcontinent" are restricted to those smaller than Australia . They are not known to contain a craton or fragment of a craton. Continental fragments include some seamounts and underwater plateaus.

Some microcontinents are fragments of Gondwana
Gondwana
or other ancient cratonic continents: these include Madagascar
Madagascar
; the northern Mascarene Plateau , which includes the Seychelles
Seychelles
; the island of Timor
Timor
, etc. Other islands, such as several in the Caribbean Sea
Caribbean Sea
, are composed largely of granitic rock as well, but all continents contain both granitic and basaltic crust, and there is no clear dividing line between islands and microcontinents under such a definition. The Kerguelen Plateau
Kerguelen Plateau
is a large igneous province formed by a volcanic hot spot ; however, it was associated with the breakup of Gondwana
Gondwana
and was for a time above water, so it is considered a microcontinent, though not a continental fragment. Other hotspot islands such as Iceland and Hawaii are considered neither microcontinents nor continental fragments. Not all islands can be considered microcontinents: the British Isles
British Isles
, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
, Borneo
Borneo
, and Newfoundland , for example, are each within the continental shelf of an adjacent continent, separated from the mainland by inland seas flooding its margins.

Several islands in the eastern Indonesian archipelago are considered continental fragments, although this designation is controversial. These include Sumba
Sumba
, Timor
Timor
( Nusa Tenggara
Nusa Tenggara
), Banggai -Sulu Islands ( Sulawesi
Sulawesi
), Obi , southern Bacan
Bacan
, and the Buru
Buru
- Seram
Seram
-Ambon complex (Maluku ). Continental fragments (pieces of Pangaea smaller than Sahul )

* Azores
Azores
Microcontinent * Bollons Seamount
Seamount
* East Tasman Plateau * Gilbert Seamount
Seamount
* Jan Mayen Microcontinent * Madagascar
Madagascar
* Mascarene Plateau * Mauritia * Parts of Wallaby Plateau * Possibly Sumba
Sumba
, Timor
Timor
, and other islands of eastern Indonesia; Sulawesi
Sulawesi
was formed via the subduction of a microcontinent * Rockall Plateau * Socotra
Socotra
* South Orkney Microcontinent * Zealandia
Zealandia

Other microcontinents (formed post-Pangaea)

* Barbados
Barbados
* Cuba
Cuba
, Hispaniola
Hispaniola
, Jamaica
Jamaica
, and other granitic Caribbean
Caribbean
islands

* Kerguelen Plateau
Kerguelen Plateau

REFERENCES

* ^ "Microcontinent" was initially the broader term, because it was defined morphologically rather than genetically (in term or genesis or origin). Scrutton, Roger A. (1976) "Microcontinents and Their Significance" pp. 177–189 In Drake, Charles L. (1976) (editor) Geodynamics: Progress and Prospects American Geophysical Union, Washington, D.C., ISBN 978-0-87590-203-6 . But, using Scrutton's definition, "microcontinent" is a narrower term, excluding aseismic ridges of continental material, such as the Lomonosov Ridge
Lomonosov Ridge
and the Jan Mayen Ridge , which could still be considered "continental fragments". * ^ Monk,, K.A.; Fretes, Y.; Reksodiharjo-Lilley, G. (1996). The Ecology of Nusa Tenggara
Nusa Tenggara
and Maluku. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions Ltd. pp. 41–43. ISBN 962-593-076-0 . * ^ Monk,, K.A.; Fretes, Y.; Reksodiharjo-Lilley, G. (1996). The Ecology of Nusa Tenggara
Nusa Tenggara
and Maluku. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions Ltd. pp. 27–29. ISBN 962-593-076-0 . * ^ UT Austin scientist plays major rule in study of underwater "micro-continent". Retrieved on 2007-07-03 * ^ Sci/Tech \'Lost continent\' discovered Retrieved on 2007-07-03 * ^ Monk,, K.A.; Fretes, Y.; Reksodiharjo-Lilley, G. (1996). The Ecology of Nusa Tenggara