The word archipelago refers to an island chain. An archipelago is a type of landform that consists of a group of islands, often including similar formations like atolls or islets. The islands that make up an archipelago are clustered or form a chain within a body of water, such as an ocean, gulf, sea, or lake.

The Hawaiian Islands, the Aleutian Islands, the Florida Keys, Bermuda, The Bahamas, the Philippines, the Canary Islands, Indonesia, and islands in the Aegean Sea are all examples of archipelagos.

Archipelagos have been formed by seafloor volcanism, sea level rise or fall, coral reefs, and occasionally by the actions of people.

  • Most archipelagos include a combination of inhabited and uninhabited islands, including ones that can only be accessed by sea.
  • They can be made up of volcanic islands or continental fragments, or be formed via processes like erosion, sedimentary deposits or rising sea levels.
  • Some are large, spreading out over thousands of miles, while others extend over much smaller areas of less than 100 miles


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