Environment

The Highest Ocean Islands in North America

Greenland has the highest point of all ocean islands in North America.

Greenland and Hispaniola, North America’s first and second highest islands, both have points of elevation greater than 3000 m above sea level. Eleven islands in the continent rise above 2000 m, while 76 islands rise more than 1000 m. The five highest North American islands are listed below.

5. Greenland

The world’s largest island, Greenland is located northeast of Canada, between the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans. Sitting on the Greenland plate, the island is made up of some of the planet’s oldest rocks. Greenland is regarded as the highest island in North America, as its highest point, the peak of Gunnbjørn Fjeld, has an elevation of 12,119 ft. The summit of the Gunnbjørn Fjeld is also the highest mountain north of the Arctic Circle. This mountain is part of the Watkins Range in Greenland’s eastern coast. Although the island's coast is mountainous, rocky, and barren, the rest of the island is relatively flat, with a sloping icecap covering most the surface.

4. Hispaniola

The island of Hispaniola is part of the Caribbean's Greater Antilles. After Cuba, Hispaniola is the second biggest Caribbean island, with an area of 76,192 square km. The island is politically divided between the two sovereign nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Hispaniola is home to five major mountain ranges. The tallest point on the island is the 10,164 ft high summit of Pico Duarte mountain. The mountain belongs to the island's Cordillera Central mountain range.

3. Unimak

The largest island in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands chain, Unimak covers an area of 4,069.93 square km. The 9,414 ft tall Mount Shishaldin is the highest point on the island, and is one of the ten most active volcanoes on the planet. Other notable geographical features on Unimak include Cape Pankof, Cape Lutke, and the Fisher Caldera volcanic crater. The island has a very small population of about 2,000 people. It is also home to several species of fauna like Alaskan brown bears and caribou.

2. Ellesmere Island

Ellesmere Island is the fourth highest ocean island in North America. The island is located in the Arctic Ocean and is part of Canada's Nunavut territory. Cape Colombia on Ellesmere Island is Canada’s northernmost point. The island covers an area of 196,235 square km. The 8,583 ft tall Barbeau Peak, which is part of the British Empire Range, is the tallest peak on the island, as well as Nunavut’s highest mountain. More than one-fifth of the area of Ellesmere Island is part of Quttinirpaaq National Park.

1. Jamaica

Jamaica is the fifth highest North American ocean island. It is a Caribbean island located about 140 km to the south of Cuba, and has an area of 10,911 square km. The 7,402 ft tall Blue Mountain Peak is the highest point on the island. The mountain is noted for Blue Mountain Coffee, a popular variety of coffee. Coffee plantation tours are common on the island.

The Highest Ocean Islands in North America

RankIslandRegionSummitElevation
1Island of Greenland GreenlandGunnbjørn Fjeld 12,119 ft
2Island of Hispaniola Dominican Republic HaitiPico Duarte 10,164 ft
3Unimak Island AlaskaShishaldin Volcano 9,414 ft
4Ellesmere Island NunavutBarbeau Peak 8,583 ft
5Island of Jamaica JamaicaBlue Mountain Peak 7,402 ft
6Axel Heiberg Island NunavutOutlook Peak 7,251 ft
7Vancouver Island British ColumbiaGolden Hinde 7,208 ft
8Umnak Island AlaskaMount Vsevidof 7,051 ft
9Baffin Island NunavutMount Odin 7,031 ft
10Island of Palup Qaqa GreenlandPalup Qaqa high point 6,906 ft

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