General information about Azores and specific about Terceira IslandGeography
Situated on the North portion of the Atlantic Ocean, about the same latitude of Lisbon and New York, the Azorean Archipelago occupies a maritime area exceeding 1,000,000 sq. km., from which only 2,344 sq. km is land.
The islands were formed by lava ejections filing the intervals left open by the separating motion of the three tectonic plates, African, European and American, on their point of confluence.
According to a theory (from Volcanologist Victor Hugo Forjaz & al.), growing out of this void, a fourth independent plate took form, from which the Azorean Archipelago is the visible part, along the submersed Atlantic Ridge, with islandsí age ranging from 8 to 4 million years.
Volcanic activity is noticeable in some of the islands, through hot springs and vapour, while seismic activity, resulting both from the movements of the plates, or from volcanic/magna camera migrations, follow the lines of rupture of the Azorean plate, regularly increasing the islands territory with growing portions of new land.
Not only some flora specimens have adapted to the resulting soils, creating new, endemic species, but also the culture, costumes and traditions, were influenced by the telluric phenomena.
Morphology of the Islands
Each island has a different configuration, depending on five main factors:
1) the volcanic episodes;
2) the nature of the materials expelled, the soils, exposed to the environmental action:
3) the maritime currents acting on their shores,
4) the predominant winds, and
5) the rain system.
All these determined different landscapes which in turn, gave rise to different interactions, both animal and vegetal, with the land. Adaptations and mutations resulted in species and subspecies now unique in the world.
Grouts, beaches and slopes are some of the consequences of environment interaction. Man’s contact with this diversity also resulted in further specific cultures.