- Barat Daya Islands
The Barat Daya Islands (Indonesian: "Kepulauan Barat Daya") are a group of
islands in the Malukuprovince of Indonesia. The Indonesian phrase "barat daya" means 'south-west', referring to the islands' location relative to the capital of Maluku province, Ambon.
Wetaris the largest island in the group, which also includes Romangand Damar islands. To the west, the Ombai Straitseparates Wetar from Alor Island, the easternmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands( Nusa Tenggara). The Wetar Straitseparates Wetar from Timorto the south. Romang and Damar lie east of Wetar, separated by the Romang Straitfrom the Leti Islandsand SermataIsland. Ambon Island, Buru, and Seramlie some distance north across the Banda Sea.
The islands are part of a volcanic
island arcthat includes the Banda Islands, created by the collision of the Indo-Australian Plateand the Eurasian Plate. Romang and Damar are volcanic; Wetar consists mostly of oceanic crust that was pushed to the surface by the colliding plates. The Barat Daya and Banda islands constitute an inner arc; the outer arc, which includes Timor, the Tanimbar Islands, and the Kai Islands, is mostly made up of oceanic crust lifted up by the collision, and wraps around south and east of the inner arc. The Gunungapi Wetar Volcano(elevation 282 m), a stratovolcanoon Wetar, erupted in 1699and 1512. Wetar has several goldmines.
The islands, together with Timor, Nusa Tenggara,
Sulawesi, and most of Maluku, are part of Wallacea, the group of Indonesian islands that are separated by deep water from both the Australian and Asian continental shelves. The islands of Wallacea have never been linked by land to either Asiaor Australia, and as a result have few mammals and a mix of flora and fauna from both continents. Rainfall is highly seasonal based on the monsoon, and the islands are mostly covered in tropical dry broadleaf forests that are partly deciduous, with many trees losing their leaves in the dry season. The Barat Daya Islands, together with Timor, the Leti Islands, and Alor, are designated as the Timor and Wetar deciduous forests ecoregion.
Islands of Indonesia
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