Jamaica (180N, 770W) is the third largest island in the Greater Antillean archipelago, with an area of 11,497 square kilometers. The island lies 150 km south of Cuba, 180 km west of Hispaniola, and 650 km from Honduras, the nearest mainland. It is an oceanic island, and it is generally agreed that it was never connected with the mainland or with the larger neighboring islands of Cuba and Hispaniola or Puerto Rico. The island first formed 75-100 million years ago through a series of volcanic activities that laid down the oldest igneous and metamorphic rocks of the Inliers. Gradual subsidence during the Eocene marked the deposition of shale, sand, clay and impure limestone, identified as Yellow Limestone. As subsidence continued, shallow submarine banks encouraged the growth of coral reefs and the subsequent deposition of the very pure White Limestone Group. It is generally accepted that the Jamaican landmass was completely submerged from the mid-Eocene to the late Oligocene or early Miocene (40-25 million years ago). The island reemerged by tectonic uplift of the Caribbean Plate and the geology stabilised at its present size 10-12 million years ago.