“Why is Australia a continent and Greenland is not? Even though Australia is the smallest of the accepted continents, Australia is still more than 3.5 times larger than Greenland. There has to be a line in the sand between small continent and the world’s largest island and traditionally that line exists between Australia and Greenland. Geologically, Australia lies on its own major tectonic plate while Greenland is part of the North American plate.”
I’m sharing this link for two reasons.
- To help resolve the confusion as to why Greenland the world’s largest island but Australia gets to be the smallest continent. The main reason is all about the continental shelf and not the coastline–Greenland is connected to North America to the continental shelf while Australia has its own shelf.
- I know many of you have been fans of Matt Rosenberg’s online resources over the years. If you have lost track of him, he is continuing to share geographic information on ThoughtCo.