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Archipelago – Glossary Definition


Want the definition of archipelago? Learn the meaning of archipelago with examples & get a better understanding of this geographical term!

Wondering about the definition of archipelago? Keep reading to learn the meaning of archipelago, see some examples, and get a better understanding of this travel glossary term!

Aeolian Islands Italy archipelago definition
The Aeolian Islands are an archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, Italy. Taken by Wikimedia Commons user Wolfram Schubert. [CC BY 2.0].

What is an Archipelago?

An archipelago is a geographical term for a group of islands, essentially.

Four types of archipelago exist:

  • Oceanic Islands – Usually formed by volcanic eruption and located far from a continent, such as the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Continental Fragments – Archipelagos formed by becoming detached from a continental mainland over time.
  • Continental Archipelagos – Archipelagos close to a continental mainland and located on the same continental shelf.
  • Artificial Archipelagos – Human-made archipelagos, such as the Palm Islands off the coast of Dubai.

More on Archipelagos

Indonesia and Japan are both examples of archipelago countries, as their borders are not connected to any larger body of land and each nation is made up of numerous islands.

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