This range separates the Bay of Bengal from the Andaman Sea; and it contains much that is geologically characteristic of the Arakan Yoma, and formations common also to the Nicobars and to Sumatra and the adjacent islands.
The newer rocks, common also to the Nicobars and Sumatra, are in Ritchie's Archipelago chiefly and contain radiolarians and foraminifera.
Kloss, In the Andamans and Nicobars (1903); E.
Butler, "Birds of the Andamans and Nicobars" (Proc. Bombay Nat.
Two groups of islands in the Bay of Bengal, the Andamans and the Nicobars; one group in the Arabian Sea, the Laccadives; and the outlying station of Aden at the mouth of the Red Sea, with Perim, and protectorates over the island of Sokotra, along the southern coast of Arabia and in the Persian Gulf, are all politically included within the Indian empire; while on the coast of the peninsula itself, Portuguese and French settlements break at intervals the continuous line of British territory.
The marine surveys of these islands are still meagre and unsatisfactory, but the whole of the Nicobars and outlying islands were surveyed topographically by the Indian Survey Department in 1886-1887, when a number of maps on the scale of 2 in.
Geology.-The Nicobars form part of a great submarine chain, of which the Andamans are a continuation.
The vexed question of the presence of coal and tin in the Nicobars has so far received no decided scientific support.
Meteorology.-It has always been held to be important to maintain a meteorological station on the Nicobars, for the purpose of supplementing the information obtained from the Andamans regarding cyclones in the Bay of Bengal.
Flora and Faunx.-Although the vegetation of the Nicobars has received much desultory attention from scientific observers, it has not been subjected to a systematic examination by the Indian Forest Department like that of the Andamans, and indeed the forests are quite inferior in economic value to those of the more northerly group; besides fruit trees - such as the coco-nut (Cocos nucifera), the betel-nut (Areca catechu), and the mellori (Pandanus leeram) - a thatching palm (Nipa fruticans) and various timber trees have some commercial value, but only one timber tree (Myristica irya)would be considered first-class in the Andamans.
The palms of the Nicobars are, however, exceedingly graceful.
The situation of the Nicobars along the line of a very ancient trade route has caused them to be reported by traders and seafarers through all historical times.
Kloss, In the Andamans and Nicobars (London, 1902) A.