Caroline Islands


Caroline Islands
a group of more than 500 islands in the Pacific, E of the Philippines: formerly a Japanese mandate; now under U.S. trusteeship. 525 sq. mi. (1360 sq. km).

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Archipelago (pop., 2000 est.: 137,200), western Pacific Ocean.

Lying south of the Philippines, the islands and their lagoons cover an area of 3,740 sq mi (9,687 sq km). Formerly part of the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the group consists of more than 550 islands, including Yap, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Kosrae, and Palau, as well as many coral islets and reefs. Though explored by the Spanish in the 17th century, they were rarely visited until Germany took them in 1899. Granted as a mandate to Japan after World War I, they were placed under U.S. trusteeship in 1947. With the exception of Palau, the islands became the Federated States of Micronesia in 1979. Palau became independent in 1994.

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      archipelago in the western Pacific Ocean, the islands of which make up the republics of Palau and the Federated States of Micronesia (Micronesia). The Carolines may be divided into two physiographic units: to the east, coral caps surmount mountains of volcanic origin, while to the west the islands are sections of the Earth's crust that have been folded and pushed above the surface of the ocean. Both units have formations rising to elevations of more than 500 feet (150 metres). The total land area is about 500 square miles (1,300 square km). The climate is tropical, with mean monthly temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s F (about 26 to 28 °C). Precipitation is evenly distributed throughout the year and generally exceeds 120 inches (3,050 mm) annually on populated islands. It may exceed 180 inches (4,570 mm) on the windward sides of high islands. In an average year more than 20 typhoons (tropical cyclones) originate in the Carolines.

      The eastern Carolines were probably settled earlier than the 2nd century CE, and there is evidence indicating that Chinese trade goods had reached the western islands by the 7th century. Visited in the 16th century by Spanish navigators who named the islands for their king, Charles II, the Carolines were colonized by Spain only in the 19th century. They were sold to Germany after the Spanish-American War (1898), but in 1914 they were seized by Japan, which held them after 1919 as a League of Nations mandate. During World War II the islands, which had been heavily fortified by Japan, were occupied by the United States; in 1947 they became part of a UN trust territory under U.S. jurisdiction. The trust territory was dissolved in 1986.

      Copra is the chief export, with handicrafts second. Tourism has been encouraged. The high western islands were mined during Japanese occupation. Some islands support tuna fishing, which has grown in importance because of the 200-mile (320-km) exclusive economic zone (EEZ) around each island group.

      Great diversity of physical types, cultures, and languages prevails within the Carolines, with the western islands exhibiting an intermingling of Melanesian and Philippine influences and the eastern showing Polynesian characteristics. Nukuoro and Kapingamarangi atolls, part of the Federated States of Micronesia, represent western outliers of Polynesian culture. Pop. (2007 est.) 131,200.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Caroline Islands — • A group of about 500 small coral islands, east of the Philippines, in the Pacific Ocean Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Caroline Islands     Caroline Islands      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Caroline Islands — [kar′ə līn΄, kar′əlin] archipelago in the W Pacific: in 1979, four of its five districts gained internal self government as the Federated States of Micronesia, but remained a part of the PACIFIC ISLANDS Trust Territory of the until 1990 …   English World dictionary

  • Caroline Islands — For the island in Kiribati (Southern Line Islands), see Caroline Island. Coordinates: 06°03′N 147°05′E / 6.05°N 147.083°E / 6.05; 147.0 …   Wikipedia

  • Caroline Islands — Die Karolinen (engl.: Caroline Islands) sind ein im Inselgebiet von Mikronesien gelegener Archipel im westlichsten Teil des Pazifischen Ozeans. Die Inseln und Inselgruppen der Karolinen liegen weit verstreut zwischen den Philippinen im Westen und …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Caroline Islands — geographical name islands W Pacific Ocean comprising Palau & the Federated States of Micronesia; formerly part of Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • CAROLINE ISLANDS —    (36), a stretch of lagoon islands, 2000 m. from E. to W., belonging to Spain, N. of New Guinea and E. of the Philippine Islands; once divided into eastern, western, and central; the soil of the western is fertile, and there is plenty of fish… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Caroline Islands — n. group of about 600 islands in the Pacific …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Caroline Islands — Car′oline Is′lands n. pl. geg a group of islands in the W Pacific, E of the Philippines: comprises the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau …   From formal English to slang

  • Caroline Islands — /kærəlaɪn ˈaɪləndz/ (say karuhluyn uyluhndz) plural noun an archipelago consisting of over 600 islands in the Pacific, east of the Philippines. See Micronesia (def. 2) …   Australian English dictionary

  • Caroline Islands — noun a long archipelago of more than 500 islands in Micronesia to the east of the Philippines • Instance Hypernyms: ↑archipelago • Part Holonyms: ↑Micronesia, ↑Federated States of Micronesia, ↑TT …   Useful english dictionary


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