An archipelago (PronEng|ɑrkəˈpɛləgoʊ) is a chain or cluster of
islands. The word "archipelago" literally means "chief sea", from Italian "arcipelago" (IPA|artʃiˈpelago) , derived ultimately from Greek "arkhon" ("arkhi"-) ("leader") and "pelagos" ("sea"). In Italian, possibly following a tradition of antiquity, the Archipelago (Greek: Αρχιπέλαγος) was the proper name for the Aegean Seaand, later, usage shifted to refer to the Aegean Islands(since the sea is remarkable for its large number of islands). It is now used to generally refer to any island group or, sometimes, to a sea containing a large number of scattered islands like the Aegean Sea. [ cite web|url=ttp://www.thefreedictionary.com/archipelago |title=Archipelago |accessdate=2008-10-02 |date=2008 |publisher=Farlex, Inc. |archiveurl=http://www.thefreedictionary.com/archipelago |archivedate=2008 ]
Types of archipelagos
Archipelagos are usually found in the open sea; less commonly, a large
land massmay neighbour them, an example being Scotlandwhich has more than 700 islands surrou Bailey Rocksgenerated by subductions zones or hotspots, but there are many other processes involved in their construction, including erosion, deposition, and land elevation.
The five largest modern states that are mainly archipelagos are
Japan, the Philippines, New Zealand, the United Kingdomand Indonesia(the world's largest archipelagic state according to the CIA World Factbook) [https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/id.html] .
The largest archipelago in the world by size is the
Canadian Arctic Archipelagoof Northern Canada. It is situated in the Arctic Ocean.fact|date=May 2008 The archipelago with most islands is the Archipelago Seain Finland, but these islands are, on average, small.
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