How would you distinguish between Australia, Australasia and Oceania as landmasses?

How would you distinguish between Australia, Australasia and Oceania as landmasses?

Australia is a defined as a contient, Oceania as a continental grouping. But what about Australasia? How do geographers distinguish them? Which ones are synonyms and is calling Australia an island correct?

I look forward to your feedback

Apparently Australasia is the old name for Oceania.

Definitions for continents are cultural rather than factual or scientific. There is no “correct” scheme.

In many continental schemes, Australia is a continent.Australasia is a broader grouping, including Australia, New Zealand, and Melanesia (and maybe New Guinea). The broadest concept is Oceania, which also includes Micronesia and Polynesia. According to some continental schemes,Oceania is considered to be a continent, despite not being physically united.

In short, there are many answers to your question. You can accept whatever classification scheme you prefer.

What’s a “continental grouping”, the first reference I can find is the Wiki article on Oceania. It’s not a geographical term I’m familiar with, and it makes no sense in this context anyway - I’d expect it to be a grouping of at least 2 continents, but Oceania has but 1. Or else something like the AU or EU, a grouping of political entities on (mostly) on 1 continent, but most of the political entities in Oceania aren’t on any continent.

Oceania is more of a geopolitical region, not *really *a physical geographical one (especially those versions of it that only include half of New Guinea.)

Australasia is used as a political term, encompassing the former British colonies established in Australia and New Zealand, plus their external territories, which included at times part of the island of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, and miscellaneous smaller islands controlled in various arrangements. While New Zealand was administered as a single colony until it was proclaimed a dominion in 1907, the Australian colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia were separately governed until federation in 1901.

The term remains in use for joint New Zealand-Australian ventures like some professional medical colleges and societies like the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. I’m not sure if Papua New Guinea and other independent countries get to join them under the same title, but don’t see why not.

You might also want to see if Sahul fits your needs. Its the continental landmass of Australia, New Guinea [as an island] and those islands separated by Wallacea from the Southeast Asian mainland and continental shelf, sometimes referred to as Sundaland or the Sunda Shelf.

I found this on wikipedia
Oceania (UK: /ˌoʊsiˈɑːniə, ˌoʊʃi-, -ˈeɪn-/, US: /ˌoʊʃiˈæniə/(listen), /-ˈɑːn-/)[3] is a geographic region comprising Melanesia, Micronesia, Polynesia and Australasia.[4] Spanning the eastern and western hemispheres, Oceania covers an area of 8,525,989 square kilometres (3,291,903sqmi) and has a population of 40 million. Situated in the southeast of the Asia-Pacific region,

Oceania is the smallest continental grouping in land area and the second smallest in population after Antarctica.

I believe here that “continental grouping” in this sense refers to several different landmasses that are considered to comprise a single continent, not necessarily a combination of two continents. As I mentioned above, Oceania is considered a separate, single continent in some systems, including that used in Latin America.

Continental schemes don’t necessarily make any logical or consistent sense. Another common scheme considers the Americas to comprise a single continent, while Europe and Asia are separate, despite the fact that the latter are connected over a much wider area than the former.

Last time we discussed a related topic, I brought up Zealandia, which would be a second continent within Oceania. But everyone pooh-poohed the idea, so maybe we toss that into the dustbin of geology…

Or not! Just like kaiju, Zealandia will come back to haunt them…

Yes, I referenced that selfsame Wiki article in my own post, that you are replying to.

Which is why I greatly prefer dealing with plates.

It’s kind of confusing as “Continent” means different things to different people.

“Continental United States” for example usually refers not to Alaska or Hawaii

Well while Hawaii is definitely not in that equation, Alaska is most definitely part of the North American Plate, as is Canada, as is Greenland, as is part of China, as is Mexico.

if the plate decided to go for a ride, all those places are coming with it.
But in geo-political terms they are not considered the same.

And nature also has a tendancy to fuse plates for long periods of time
and then snap them apart into independant pieces again, right now, i believe the european plate and the asian plate are considered to be fused and not jostling about independently, but nature has a way of changing her mind about that and then they are separate again

The country of Australia, sits on a plate that shares its name, but the plate runs all the way to India, New Zealand is on that plate, as well as papua new guinea.

Country names may change, Even their shapes might change some, but what they are sitting on doesn’t.

No part of China is on the North American plate. Part of Siberia is, though.

The Indian and Australian Plates are now considered separate, with another plate (Capricorn) also being likely between them.

Part of it is, part of it (most of South Island) sits on the Pacific Plate.

Again, only part of the island of New Guinea sits on the Australian Plate, most of it is made up of 4 small plates - Bird’s Head, Maoke, Woodlark and South Bismark. Most of Papua NG would be on the latter 2.

Incorrect. You are thinking of “contiguous United States.” “Continental United States” refers to all the states but Hawaii.

Reasonable, except this scheme separates Central America as its own continent (Caribbean Plate), India as its own continent (Indian Plate), Arabia as its own continent (Arabian Plate), and splits the easternmost tip of Asia off into North America, not to mention splitting both Iceland and Japan roughly in half. (There are also a few plates which don’t correspond to any big landmasses, but I guess they don’t matter much in this context.)

So you would never refer to North America as a continent?

There’s no problem talking about continents, as long as it’s realized that they are culturally rather than scientifically defined.

No, I would, what about what I said led you to think I wouldn’t? I said I *prefer *plates, not that I think continents can’t be spoken of ever.

Oceania isn’t a landmass because of the, you know, ocean.

How often do tectonic plates come up in your daily conversation? :wink:

Ermm, geologist? Or at least, trained as one, and still active as an amateur. With a wife who’s the same. So, maybe not every single day, but damn often. Like, just on Sunday, since she’s going to California, damn straight they came up.