An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land, surrounded by water. Small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines. An island may be described despite the presence of an artificial land bridge; some places may retain "island" in their names for historical reasons after being connected to a larger landmass by a land bridge or landfill, such as Coney Island and Coronado Island, though these are speaking, tied islands. Conversely, when a piece of land is separated from the mainland by a man-made canal, for example the Peloponnese by the Corinth Canal or Marble Hill in northern Manhattan during the time between the building of the United States Ship Canal and the filling-in of the Harlem River which surrounded the area, it is not considered an island.
There are two main types of islands in the sea: oceanic. There are artificial islands; the word island derives from Middle English iland, from Old English igland. However, the spelling of the word was modified in the 15th century because of a false etymology caused by an incorrect association with the etymologically unrelated Old French loanword isle, which itself comes from the Latin word insula. Old English ieg is a cognate of Swedish ö and German Aue, related to Latin aqua. Greenland is the world's largest island, with an area of over 2.1 million km2, while Australia, the world's smallest continent, has an area of 7.6 million km2, but there is no standard of size that distinguishes islands from continents, or from islets. There is a difference between continents in terms of geology. Continents are the largest landmass of a particular continental plate. By contrast, islands are either extensions of the oceanic crust, or belong to a continental plate containing a larger landmass. Continental islands are bodies of land.
Examples are Borneo, Sumatra, Sakhalin and Hainan off Asia. A special type of continental island is the microcontinental island, created when a continent is rifted. Examples are Madagascar and Socotra off Africa, New Caledonia, New Zealand, some of the Seychelles. Another subtype is an island or bar formed by deposition of tiny rocks where water current loses some of its carrying capacity; this includes: barrier islands, which are accumulations of sand deposited by sea currents on the continental shelves fluvial or alluvial islands formed in river deltas or midstream within large rivers. While some are transitory and may disappear if the volume or speed of the current changes, others are stable and long-lived. Islets are small islands. Oceanic islands are islands; the vast majority are volcanic in origin, such as Saint Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean. The few oceanic islands that are not volcanic are tectonic in origin and arise where plate movements have lifted up the ocean floor above the surface.
Examples are Saint Paul Rocks in the Atlantic Ocean and Macquarie Island in the Pacific. One type of volcanic oceanic island is found in a volcanic island arc; these islands arise from volcanoes. Examples are the Aleutian Islands, the Mariana Islands, most of Tonga in the Pacific Ocean; the only examples in the Atlantic Ocean are some of the Lesser Antilles and the South Sandwich Islands. Another type of volcanic oceanic island occurs. There are two examples: Iceland, the world's second largest volcanic island, Jan Mayen. Both are in the Atlantic. A third type of volcanic oceanic island is formed over volcanic hotspots. A hotspot is more or less stationary relative to the moving tectonic plate above it, so a chain of islands results as the plate drifts. Over long periods of time, this type of island is "drowned" by isostatic adjustment and eroded, becoming a seamount. Plate movement across a hot-spot produces a line of islands oriented in the direction of the plate movement. An example is the Hawaiian Islands, from Hawaii to Kure, which continue beneath the sea surface in a more northerly direction as the Emperor Seamounts.
Another chain with similar orientation is the Tuamotu Archipelago. The southernmost chain is the Austral Islands, with its northerly trending part the atolls in the nation of Tuvalu. Tristan da Cunha is an example of a hotspot volcano in the Atlantic Ocean. Another hotspot in the Atlantic is the island of Surtsey, formed in 1963. An atoll is an island formed from a coral reef that has grown on an eroded and submerged volcanic island; the reef forms a new island. Atolls are ring-shaped with a central lagoon. Examples are the Line Islands
Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and become heavy enough to fall under gravity. Rain is a major component of the water cycle and is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the Earth, it provides suitable conditions for many types of ecosystems, as well as water for hydroelectric power plants and crop irrigation. The major cause of rain production is moisture moving along three-dimensional zones of temperature and moisture contrasts known as weather fronts. If enough moisture and upward motion is present, precipitation falls from convective clouds such as cumulonimbus which can organize into narrow rainbands. In mountainous areas, heavy precipitation is possible where upslope flow is maximized within windward sides of the terrain at elevation which forces moist air to condense and fall out as rainfall along the sides of mountains. On the leeward side of mountains, desert climates can exist due to the dry air caused by downslope flow which causes heating and drying of the air mass.
The movement of the monsoon trough, or intertropical convergence zone, brings rainy seasons to savannah climes. The urban heat island effect leads to increased rainfall, both in amounts and intensity, downwind of cities. Global warming is causing changes in the precipitation pattern globally, including wetter conditions across eastern North America and drier conditions in the tropics. Antarctica is the driest continent; the globally averaged annual precipitation over land is 715 mm, but over the whole Earth it is much higher at 990 mm. Climate classification systems such as the Köppen classification system use average annual rainfall to help differentiate between differing climate regimes. Rainfall is measured using rain gauges. Rainfall amounts can be estimated by weather radar. Rain is known or suspected on other planets, where it may be composed of methane, sulfuric acid, or iron rather than water. Air contains water vapor, the amount of water in a given mass of dry air, known as the mixing ratio, is measured in grams of water per kilogram of dry air.
The amount of moisture in air is commonly reported as relative humidity. How much water vapor a parcel of air can contain before it becomes saturated and forms into a cloud depends on its temperature. Warmer air can contain more water vapor than cooler air before becoming saturated. Therefore, one way to saturate a parcel of air is to cool it; the dew point is the temperature. There are four main mechanisms for cooling the air to its dew point: adiabatic cooling, conductive cooling, radiational cooling, evaporative cooling. Adiabatic cooling occurs when air expands; the air can rise due to convection, large-scale atmospheric motions, or a physical barrier such as a mountain. Conductive cooling occurs when the air comes into contact with a colder surface by being blown from one surface to another, for example from a liquid water surface to colder land. Radiational cooling occurs due to the emission of infrared radiation, either by the air or by the surface underneath. Evaporative cooling occurs when moisture is added to the air through evaporation, which forces the air temperature to cool to its wet-bulb temperature, or until it reaches saturation.
The main ways water vapor is added to the air are: wind convergence into areas of upward motion, precipitation or virga falling from above, daytime heating evaporating water from the surface of oceans, water bodies or wet land, transpiration from plants, cool or dry air moving over warmer water, lifting air over mountains. Water vapor begins to condense on condensation nuclei such as dust and salt in order to form clouds. Elevated portions of weather fronts force broad areas of upward motion within the Earth's atmosphere which form clouds decks such as altostratus or cirrostratus. Stratus is a stable cloud deck which tends to form when a cool, stable air mass is trapped underneath a warm air mass, it can form due to the lifting of advection fog during breezy conditions. Coalescence occurs. Air resistance causes the water droplets in a cloud to remain stationary; when air turbulence occurs, water droplets collide. As these larger water droplets descend, coalescence continues, so that drops become heavy enough to overcome air resistance and fall as rain.
Coalescence happens most in clouds above freezing, is known as the warm rain process. In clouds below freezing, when ice crystals gain enough mass they begin to fall; this requires more mass than coalescence when occurring between the crystal and neighboring water droplets. This process is temperature dependent, as supercooled water droplets only exist in a cloud, below freezing. In addition, because of the great temperature difference between cloud and ground level, these ice crystals may melt as they fall and become rain. Raindrops have sizes ranging from 0.1 to 9 mm mean diameter. Smaller drops are called cloud droplets, their shape is spherical; as a raindrop increases in size, its shape becomes more oblate, with its largest cross-section facing the oncoming airflow. Large rain drops become flattened on the bottom, like hamburger buns. Contrary to popular beli
Western Europe is the region comprising the western part of Europe. Though the term Western Europe is used, there is no agreed-upon definition of the countries that it encompasses. Significant historical events that have shaped the concept of Western Europe include the rise of Rome, the adoption of Greek culture during the Roman Republic, the adoption of Christianity by Roman Emperors, the division of the Latin West and Greek East, the Fall of the Western Roman Empire, the reign of Charlemagne, the Viking invasions, the East–West Schism, the Black Death, the Renaissance, the Age of Discovery, the Protestant Reformation as well as the Counter-Reformation of the Catholic Church, the Age of Enlightenment, the French Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the two world wars, the Cold War, the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the expansion of the European Union. Prior to the Roman conquest, a large part of Western Europe had adopted the newly developed La Tène culture; as the Roman domain expanded, a cultural and linguistic division appeared between the Greek-speaking eastern provinces, which had formed the urbanized Hellenistic civilization, the western territories, which in contrast adopted the Latin language.
This cultural and linguistic division was reinforced by the political east-west division of the Roman Empire. The Western Roman Empire and the Eastern Roman Empire controlled the two divergent regions between the 3rd and the 5th centuries; the division between these two was enhanced during Late antiquity and the Middle Ages by a number of events. The Western Roman Empire collapsed. By contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire known as the Greek or Byzantine Empire and thrived for another 1000 years; the rise of the Carolingian Empire in the west, in particular the Great Schism between Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism, enhanced the cultural and religious distinctiveness between Eastern and Western Europe. After the conquest of the Byzantine Empire, center of the Eastern Orthodox Church, by the Muslim Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, the gradual fragmentation of the Holy Roman Empire, the division between Roman Catholic and Protestant became more important in Europe than that with Eastern Orthodoxy.
In East Asia, Western Europe was known as taixi in China and taisei in Japan, which translates as the "Far West". The term Far West became synonymous with Western Europe in China during the Ming dynasty; the Italian Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci was one of the first writers in China to use the Far West as an Asian counterpart to the European concept of the Far East. In Ricci's writings, Ricci referred to himself as "Matteo of the Far West"; the term was still in use in the late early 20th centuries. Christianity is still the largest religion in Western Europe, according to a 2018 study by the Pew Research Center, 71.0% of the Western European population identified themselves as Christians. The East–West Schism, which has lasted since the 11th century, divided Christianity in Europe, the world, into Western Christianity and Eastern Christianity. With certain simplifications, Western Europe is thus Catholic or Protestant and uses the Latin alphabet. Eastern Europe uses the Greek alphabet or Cyrillic script.
According to this definition, Western Europe is formed by countries with dominant Roman Catholic and Protestant churches, including countries which are considered part of Central Europe now: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and United Kingdom. Eastern Europe, meanwhile is formed by countries with dominant Eastern Orthodox churches, including Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine for instance; the schism is the break of communion and theology between what are now the Eastern and Western churches. This division dominated Europe for centuries, in opposition to the rather short-lived Cold War division of four decades. Since the Great Schism of 1054, Europe has been divided between Roman Catholic and Protestant churches in the West and the Eastern Orthodox Christian churches in the east. Due to this religious cleavage, Eastern Orthodox countries are associated with Eastern Europe. A cleavage of this sort is, however problematic.
During the four decades of the Cold War, the definition of East and West was rather simplified by the existence of the Eastern Bloc. Historians and social scientists view the Cold War definition of Western and Eastern Europe as outdated or relegating. During the final stages of World War II, the future of Europe was decided between the Allies in the 1945 Yalta Conference, between the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, the U. S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Premier of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin. Post-war Europe would be divided into two major spheres: the Western Bloc, influenced by the United States, the Eastern Bloc, influenced by the Soviet Union. With the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided by the Iron Curtain; this term had been used during World War II by German Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and Count Lutz Schwerin von Krosigk in the last days of the war.
An islet is a small island. As suggested by its origin as islette, an Old French diminutive of "isle", use of the term implies small size, but little attention is given to drawing an upper limit on its applicability. Cay or Key – an islet formed by the accumulation of fine sand deposits atop a reef. Motu – A reef islet formed by broken coral and sand, surrounding an atoll. River island – A small islet within the current of a river. Rock – A "rock", in the sense of a type of islet, is an uninhabited landform composed of rock, lying offshore, having at most minimal vegetation. Sandbar – An exposed sandbar is another type of islet. Sea stack – A thin, vertical landform jutting out of a body of water. Skerry – A small rocky island defined to be too small for habitation. Subsidiary islets – A more technical application is to small land features, isolated by water, lying off the shore of a larger island. Any emergent land in an atoll is called an islet. Tidal island – Often small islands which lie off the mainland of an area, being connected to it in low tide and isolated in high tide.
In the Caribbean and West Atlantic, islets are called cays or keys. Rum Cay in the Bahamas and the Florida Keys off Florida are examples of islets. In Normandy and the Channel Islands, they are identified by the French suffix -hou from the Scandinavian -holm. In Scotland and Ireland, they are called inches, from the Gaelic innis, which meant island, but has been supplanted to refer to smaller islands. In Ireland they are termed skerries. In and around Polynesia, islets are known by the term motu, from the term for the coral-rubble islets common to the region. In and around the River Thames in England, small islands are known as eyots. Whether an islet is considered a rock or not can have significant economic consequences under Article 121 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which stipulates that "Rocks which cannot sustain human habitation or economic life of their own shall have no exclusive economic zone or continental shelf." One long-term dispute over the status of such an islet was that of Snake Island.
The International Court of Justice jurisprudence however sometimes ignores islets, regardless of inhabitation status, in deciding territorial disputes. There are thousands of islets on Earth: 24,000 islands and islets in the Stockholm archipelago alone; the following is a list of example islets from around the world. Clive Schofield. "Islands or Rocks, Is that the Real Question? The Treatment of Islands in the Delimitation of Maritime Boundaries". In Myron H. Nordquist, John Norton Moore, Alfred H. A. Soons, Hak-So Kim; the Law of the Sea Convention: US Accession and Globalization. Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. Pp. 322–340. ISBN 978-90-04-20136-1. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter
Waste management are the activities and actions required to manage waste from its inception to its final disposal. This includes the collection, transport and disposal of waste, together with monitoring and regulation of the waste management process. Waste can be solid, liquid, or gaseous and each type has different methods of disposal and management. Waste management deals with all types of waste, including industrial and household. In some cases waste can pose a threat to human health. Waste is produced by for example the extraction and processing of raw materials. Waste management is intended to reduce adverse effects of waste on human health, the environment or aesthetics. Waste management practices are not uniform among countries. A large portion of waste management practices deal with municipal solid waste, the bulk of the waste, created by household and commercial activity; the waste hierarchy refers to the "3 Rs" reduce and recycle, which classifies waste management strategies according to their desirability in terms of waste minimisation.
The waste hierarchy is the cornerstone of most waste minimisation strategies. The aim of the waste hierarchy is to extract the maximum practical benefits from products and to generate the minimum amount of end waste; the waste hierarchy is represented as a pyramid because the basic premise is that policies should promote measures to prevent the generation of waste. The next step or preferred action is to seek alternative uses for the waste, generated i.e. by re-use. The next is recycling. Following this step is material recovery and waste-to-energy; the final action is disposal, through incineration without energy recovery. This last step is the final resort for waste which has not been diverted or recovered; the waste hierarchy represents the progression of a product or material through the sequential stages of the pyramid of waste management. The hierarchy represents the latter parts of the life-cycle for each product; the life-cycle begins with design proceeds through manufacture and primary use and follows through the waste hierarchy's stages of reduce and recycle.
Each stage in the life-cycle offers opportunities for policy intervention, to rethink the need for the product, to redesign to minimize waste potential, to extend its use. Product life-cycle analysis is a way to optimize the use of the world's limited resources by avoiding the unnecessary generation of waste. Resource efficiency reflects the understanding that global economic growth and development can not be sustained at current production and consumption patterns. Globally, humanity extracts more resources to produce goods. Resource efficiency is the reduction of the environmental impact from the production and consumption of these goods, from final raw material extraction to last use and disposal; the polluter-pays principle mandates that the polluting party pays for the impact on the environment. With respect to waste management, this refers to the requirement for a waste generator to pay for appropriate disposal of the unrecoverable material. Throughout most of history, the amount of waste generated by humans was insignificant due to low population density and low societal levels of the exploitation of natural resources as well as industrial since few decades.
Common waste produced during pre-modern times was ashes and human biodegradable waste, these were released back into the ground locally, with minimum environmental impact. Tools made out of wood or metal were reused or passed down through the generations. However, some civilizations do seem to have been more profligate in their waste output than others. In particular, the Maya of Central America had a fixed monthly ritual, in which the people of the village would gather together and burn their rubbish in large dumps. Following the onset of industrialisation and the sustained urban growth of large population centres in England, the buildup of waste in the cities caused a rapid deterioration in levels of sanitation and the general quality of urban life; the streets became choked with filth due to the lack of waste clearance regulations. Calls for the establishment of a municipal authority with waste removal powers occurred as early as 1751, when Corbyn Morris in London proposed that "... as the preservation of the health of the people is of great importance, it is proposed that the cleaning of this city, should be put under one uniform public management, all the filth be...conveyed by the Thames to proper distance in the country".
However, it was not until the mid-19th century, spurred by devastating cholera outbreaks and the emergence of a public health debate that the first legislation on the issue emerged. Influential in this new focus was the report The Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population in 1842 of the social reformer, Edwin Chadwick, in which he argued for the importance of adequate waste removal and management facilities to improve the health and wellbeing of the city's population. In the UK, the Nuisance Removal and Disease Prevention Act of 1846 began what was to be a evolving process of the provision of regulated waste management in London; the Metropolitan Board of Works was the first citywide authority that centralized sanitation regulation for the expanding city and the Public Health Act 1875 made it compulsory for every household to deposit their weekly waste in "moveable receptacles: for disposal—the first concept for a dust-bin. The dram
Saint Lucia is a sovereign island country in the West Indies in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary with the Atlantic Ocean. The island was called Iyonola, the name given to the island by the native Amerindians and Hewanorra, the name given by the native Caribs. Part of the Lesser Antilles, it is located north/northeast of the island of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique, it reported a population of 165,595 in the 2010 census. Its capital is Castries; the French were the island's first European settlers. They signed a treaty with the native Island Caribs in 1660. England took control of the island from 1663 to 1667. In ensuing years, it was at war with France fourteen times, the rule of the island changed frequently. In 1814, the British took definitive control of the island; because it switched so between British and French control, Saint Lucia was known as the "Helen of the West Indies" after the Greek mythology "Helen of Troy". Representative government came about in 1840.
From 1958 to 1962, the island was a member of the West Indies Federation. On 22 February 1979, Saint Lucia became an independent state and a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. Saint Lucia is a mixed jurisdiction, meaning that it has a legal system based in part on both the civil law and English common law; the Civil Code of St. Lucia of 1867 was based on the Quebec Civil Code of 1866, as supplemented by English common law-style legislation, it is a member of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie. Christopher Columbus may have sighted the island during his fourth voyage in 1502, since he made landfall on Martinique, yet he does not mention the island in his log. Juan de la Cosa noted the island on his map of 1500, calling it El Falcon, another island to the south Las Agujas. A Spanish cédula from 1511 mentions the island within the Spanish domain, a globe in the Vatican made in 1520, shows the island as Sancta Lucia. A 1529 Spanish map shows S. Luzia. One of the Windward Islands, Saint Lucia was named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse.
It is the only country in the world named after a historical woman. Legend states French sailors were shipwrecked here on 13 December, the feast day of St. Lucy, thus naming the island in honor of Sainte Lucie. In the late 1550s, the French pirate François le Clerc set up a camp on Pigeon Island, from where he attacked passing Spanish ships. In 1605, an English vessel called the Oliphe Blossome was blown off-course on its way to Guyana, the 67 colonists started a settlement on Saint Lucia, after being welcomed by the Carib chief Anthonie. By 26 September 1605, only 19 survived, after continued attacks by the Carib chief Augraumart, so they fled the island. In 1664, Thomas Warner claimed Saint Lucia for England, he brought 1,000 men to defend it from the French, but after two years, only 89 survived with the rest dying due to disease. In 1666, the French West India Company resumed control of the island, which in 1674 was made an official French crown colony as a dependency of Martinique. Both the British and the French found the island attractive after the sugar industry developed, during the 18th century the island changed ownership or was declared neutral territory a dozen times, although the French settlements remained and the island was a de facto French colony well into the eighteenth century.
In 1722, George I of Great Britain granted both Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent to The 2nd Duke of Montagu. He in turn appointed a merchant sea captain and adventurer, as deputy-governor. Uring went to the islands with a group of seven ships, established settlement at Petit Carenage. Unable to get enough support from British warships, he and the new colonists were run off by the French. During the Seven Years' War, Britain occupied Saint Lucia for a year. Britain handed the island back to the French at the Treaty of Paris in 1763. Like the English and Dutch on other islands, the French began to develop the land for the cultivation of sugar cane as a commodity crop on large plantations in 1765. In January 1791, during the French Revolution, the National Assembly sent four commissaries to St. Lucia to spread the revolution philosophy. By August 1791, slaves began to abandon their estates and Governor de Gimat fled. In December 1792, Lt. Jean-Baptiste Raymond de Lacrosse arrived with revolutionary pamphlets, the impoverished whites and free people of color began to arm themselves as patriots.
On 1 February 1793, France declared war on England and Holland, General Nicolas Xavier de Ricard took over as Governor. The National Convention abolished enslavement on 4 February 1794, but St. Lucia fell to a British invasion led by Vice Admiral John Jervis on 1 April 1794. Morne Fortune became Fort Charlotte. Soon, a patriot army of resistance, L'Armee Francaise dans les Bois, began to fight back, thus started the First Brigand War. A short time the British invaded the island as a part of the broken out war with France. On 21 February 1795 and a group of locals under the nominal control of Victor Hugues defeated a battalion of British troops at Vieux Fort and Rabot. In 1796, Castries was burned as part of the conflict. General John Moore retook Fort Charlotte in 1796 with the 27th Inniskilling Fusiliers after two days of bitter fighting; as an honour, the Fusiliers' regimental colour was displayed on the flagstaff of the captured fortress at Morne Fortune for an hour before be
Site of Special Scientific Interest
A Site of Special Scientific Interest in Great Britain or an Area of Special Scientific Interest in the Isle of Man and Northern Ireland is a conservation designation denoting a protected area in the United Kingdom and Isle of Man. SSSI/ASSIs are the basic building block of site-based nature conservation legislation and most other legal nature/geological conservation designations in the United Kingdom are based upon them, including national nature reserves, Ramsar sites, Special Protection Areas, Special Areas of Conservation; the acronym "SSSI" is pronounced "triple-S I". Sites notified for their biological interest are known as Biological SSSIs, those notified for geological or physiographic interest are Geological SSSIs. Sites may be divided into management units, with some areas including units that are noted for both biological and geological interest. Biological SSSI/ASSIs may be selected for various reasons, which for Great Britain is governed by published SSSI Selection Guidelines. Within each area, a representative series of the best examples of each significant natural habitat may be notified, for rarer habitats all examples may be included.
Sites of particular significance for various taxonomic groups may be selected —each of these groups has its own set of selection guidelines. Conservation of biological SSSI/ASSIs involves continuation of the natural and artificial processes which resulted in their development and survival, for example the continued traditional grazing of heathland or chalk grassland. In England, the designating body for SSSIs, Natural England, selects biological SSSIs from within natural areas which are areas with particular landscape and ecological characteristics, or on a county basis. In Scotland, the designating authority is Scottish Natural Heritage. In the Isle of Man the role is performed by the Department of Environment and Agriculture. Geological SSSI/ASSIs are selected by a different mechanism to biological ones, with a minimalistic system selecting one site for each geological feature in Great Britain. Academic geological specialists have reviewed geological literature, selecting sites within Great Britain of at least national importance for each of the most important features within each geological topic.
Each of these sites is described, with most published in the Geological Conservation Review series, so becomes a GCR site. All GCR sites are subsequently notified as geological SSSIs, except some that coincide with designated biological SSSI management units. A GCR site may contain features from several different topic blocks, for example a site may contain strata containing vertebrate fossils, insect fossils and plant fossils and it may be of importance for stratigraphy. Geological sites fall into two types, having different conservation priorities: exposure sites, deposit sites. Exposure sites are where quarries, disused railway cuttings, cliffs or outcrops give access to extensive geological features, such as particular rock layers. If the exposure becomes obscured, the feature could in principle be re-exposed elsewhere. Conservation of these sites concentrates on maintenance of access for future study. Deposit sites are features which are limited in extent or physically delicate—for example, they include small lenses of sediment, mine tailings and other landforms.
If such features become damaged they cannot be recreated, conservation involves protecting the feature from erosion or other damage. Following devolution, legal arrangements for SSSIs and ASSIs differ between the countries of the UK; the Isle of Man ASSI system is a separate entity. Scottish Natural Heritage publishes a summary of the SSSI arrangements for SSSI owners and occupiers which can be downloaded from the SNH website. Legal documents for all SSSIs in Scotland are available on the SSSI Register, hosted by The Registers of Scotland. Further information about SSSIs in Scotland is available on the SNH website; the decision to notify an SSSI is made by the relevant nature conservation body for that part of the United Kingdom: Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural England, Scottish Natural Heritage or Natural Resources Wales. SSSIs were set up by the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, but the current legal framework for SSSIs is provided in England and Wales by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, amended in 1985 and further amended in 2000, in Scotland by the Nature Conservation Act 2004 and in Northern Ireland by the Nature Conservation and Amenity Lands Order 1985.
SSSIs are covered under the Water Resources Act 1991 and related legislation. An SSSI may be made on any area of land, considered to be of special interest by virtue of its fauna, geological or physiographical / geomorphological features. SSSI notification can cover any "land" within the area of the relevant nature conservation body, including dry land, land covered by freshwater; the extent to which an SSSI/ASSI may extend seawards differs between countries. In Scotland an SSSI may include the intertidal land down to mean low water spring or to the extent of the local planning authority area, thus only limited areas of estuaries and coastal waters beyond MLWS may be included. In England, Natural England may notify an SSSI over estuarial waters and further adjacent waters in certain circumstances (section 28 of The