Talk:Australia (continent)

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Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: consensus not to move the page, per the discussion below. Dekimasuよ! 20:20, 23 February 2014 (UTC) Dekimasuよ! 20:44, 23 February 2014 (UTC)

Australia (continent)Australia as a continent – The current title implies that Australia the country and Australia the continent are not the same division of the world. They are, only with a political and a physical description of the region, respectively. Georgia guy (talk) 23:44, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Oppose: They're not the same division. The continent is either sans Tasmania, or with both Tasmania and New Guinea. CMD (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:46, 16 February 2014‎
  • Oppose the continent is not called "Australia as a continent", and they are not the same division of the world. The political entity known as Australia is not coterminous with the continent of Australia. -- (talk) 04:11, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The proposed title is unacceptable. And yes, the continent and country are two different things. Hot Stop 04:28, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose - No matter how one defines the continent in relation to the country, the current title is the proper way to dismbiguate it from the country's article per WP's naming conventions. - BilCat (talk) 04:40, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose- per all above. In ictu oculi (talk) 08:10, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose per previous respondents. ╠╣uw [talk] 10:32, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose incorrect reasoning, the division is not the same. The Australian continent includes several islands not considered Australian, like Timor Leste and Irian Jaya/Papua New Guinea. It might help you to read the articles before making such a statement. --Falcadore (talk) 11:30, 17 February 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm trying to think of some other natural disambiguation. I have yet to get one. Red Slash 03:15, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Maybe read wp:Naming_conventions#Disambiguation as suggested. BTW, the converse also applies -- the country includes many outlying islands that are not part of the continent (however defined), vis Christmas, Cocos (Keeling), Heard & Macdonald, Macquarie, Lord Howe, Norfolk.--Gergyl (talk) 05:27, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, There is no difference and i think, a meaningless request. Maurice07 (talk) 22:54, 18 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose, the island Tasmania is not part of the continent of Australia but of the state of Australia. Bandy boy (talk) 15:05, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Volcanic activity[edit]

I am not a geologist. I don't know what qualifies as volcanically active. One simple definition I have read is that a volcano is considered dormant if there has been no eruption in the past 10,000 years. The last eruption of volcano in Australia (Mt Gambier) was 4,500 years ago. It was witnessed by aboriginal people according to archaeological evidence. The current hotspot is centred under Bass Strait and encompasses areas of Victoria and Tasmania. Earthquake activity in the region is related to this hotspot. According to some estimates, a volcano could develop in this area with 100 years. So, do we need to clarify how volcanically active the Australian continent is? (talk) 01:03, 14 September 2014 (UTC)


A lot of sources are saying that Australia as a continent only has one country, which is also called Australia, and all the other small island countries in Australasia and the Pacific Islands are part of a region called Oceania. I noticed that this article also include Papua New Guinea, portions of Indonesia and possibly East Timor in the Australian continent. I wonder which one is correct? 2001:8003:8558:3B00:F00E:929D:902C:5B60 (talk) 05:27, 31 July 2016 (UTC)

Yeah there's something strange going with this article (and I've noticed a few other continent-related articles have the same problem). This article is written using an unconventional definition of "continent". I can't tell whether some user is engaging in original research, or people are just getting carried away with a particular technical terminology (presumably geological terminology).
The conventional definition of a continent is something like "a landmass too big to be considered an island". By convention, Australia and any larger landmass is considered a continent, not an island. So Australia does only have one country and New Guinea is not part of the continent of Australia. New Guinea is an separate island in its own right, it can't be part of a continent.
But there are presumably geological definitions of continents. There are continental plates, perhaps there is a formal definition of something like a "continental shelf" and this definition of "continent" is being conflated with the primary definition of a continent that we're all familiar with.
Someone should edit this article to put the conventional definition of continent front and foremost otherwise everyone's going to be confused when they stumble on this article. I'd do it myself but I just spent a while sorting out the "continent" article. And I don't have much to say about the continent of Australia.
tl;dr: Your sources are right; this article is at best misleading.
Ben Arnold (talk) 10:27, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Footnote: I've just discovered there's a separate article entitled Australian mainland which is about the continent of Australia. The authors clearly mean this article to be about a continental shelf or other specialist geological concept of an Australian continent and for the Australian Mainland article to be about the actual (conventional) continent of Australia. I'm bound to assume good faith, so I'm going to say this is extremely confusing. If I knew how to, I'd recommend a merge of the two articles. Ben Arnold (talk) 10:39, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
See Mainland Australia. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 21:16, 27 September 2016 (UTC)
Conventionally, Europe spans Mainland Europe and surrounding islands including Britain, Ireland, Aland and Zealand (continental islands) as well as Iceland and the Azores (oceanic islands). But Europe is predominately a cultural region. So from a European perspective, continental islands and surrounding oceanic islands are part of continents. From a geological perspective, "the continents" are the whole of the continental shelf, so include continental islands (and continental shelf) but exclude all oceanic islands.
We should follow usage in reliable sources. "Australian continent" is usually only used in a geological context, so does generally include continental islands. "Mainland Australia" has one unambiguous geographically meaning no matter the context. The cultural definition of Australia would be Australasia or Oceania, similar to how "Europe" is conventionally used to include Iceland. I don't think "Australia" ever means Mainland Australia, however in a geological context, it often means the Australian continent.
Rob984 (talk) 19:31, 27 September 2016 (UTC)

Title article "Australian continent"?[edit]

Every continent can be referred to in this way, "the European continent", "the African continent", etc., and it generally refers to the whole continent (as oppose to "continental Australia", the mainland). It is a description rather than an alternative name, but since it is commonly used to unambiguously refer to the continent of Australia, rather than the country, maybe it is an appropriate title, avoiding the parentheses? I'm not proposing a requested move but just a thought for other editors. Rob984 (talk) 23:57, 17 September 2016 (UTC)