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island arc

noun
  1. a curved chain of islands, as the Aleutians or Antilles, usually convex toward the ocean and enclosing a deep-sea basin.
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Origin of island arc

First recorded in 1905–10
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for island arc

island arc

noun
  1. an arc-shaped chain of islands, such as the Aleutian Islands or the Japanese Islands, usually lying at the edge of a Benioff zone, indicating volcanic activity where the oceanic lithosphere is descending into the earth's interior
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

island arc in Science

island arc

  1. A usually curved chain of volcanic islands bounded on the convex side by a deep oceanic trench. Island arcs form in the overriding tectonic plates of subduction zones as the result of rising melt from the downgoing plate. The arcs are curved because of the curvature of the Earth. The Aleutian Islands, in Alaska, are an island arc. An island arc is a kind of volcanic arc.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.