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An archipelago has 1 main characteristic

  1. A group of many islands
  2. Islands surrounded by water

Examples of Archipelago:

  1. Islands around Japan
  2. Hawaiian Islands
  3. Philippine Islands

What is an Archipelago Landform?

An Archipelago is a landform that is a group of many islands. Some of the most famous archipelagos of the world are many of the islands around Japan, Hawaii and the British Islands. Most people think this type of landform is what you see on movies but that is not necessarily so. Canada has many archipelagos that are barren because of the cold. They are not known for being as lush as the islands you may think of. Also, the groups of islands can be from a few to thousands such as the Florida Keys.

How are Archipelagos formed?

They are formed a few ways. One of the most common ways an archipelago is formed is through volcanic activity. As volcanoes erupt under water, they start to form land above the water which is what we call an island. As the volcanoes shift or a group of volcanoes erupt over years, they start to form a group of islands that we can call an archipelago.

Another way an archipelago is formed is through the evaporation or movement of water. The higher part of land that was under water is now above water. This can happen in groups which makes the groups of islands.

Erosion can also create the group of islands that we call archipelagos. This can be rare but does occur. Take for example places that have high and low tides of water (usually in oceans). The raising and lowering of water can deposit and take away land, which can create islands.

Related landforms: islands and barrier islands

The Definition of an Archipelago?

  • a large group or chain of islands
  • any large body of water with many islands.

By David Olmstead

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