Buccaneer Archipelago

Buccaneer Archipelago

The Buccaneer Archipelago, situated at the head of the huge inlet of King Sound, are a group of around 800 islands curving around the Kimberley coast from the Cascade Bay area of King Sound in the west, northwards through Cone and Strickland Bays and east through Yampi Sound to Talbot Bay (see map). They are separated from the Dampierland Peninsula and the Sunday Islands to the west by the Sunday Strait. Due to their extreme isolation and difficult access the islands remain undeveloped and exist in a largely pristine state.

The islands are generally rocky, often with high cliffs. They were formed by rising sea levels — in the image they can clearly be seen as continuations of the ridges and hills of this folded region of the Kimberley coast. Although formed as islands relatively recently, the rocks that compose the islands and adjacent coastline are of ancient origins — having formed over 2 billion years ago.

The islands of the archipelago are mostly small with the largest being Koolan Island (27.1 km²), Hidden Island (19.7 km²), Irvine Island, Long Island (14.8 km²), Sunday Island (13.3 km²) and Lachlan (12.9 km²).

image: MODIS rapid response project at nasa/goddard space flight center

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