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An archipelago (play /ɑrkɪˈpɛləɡ/ ark-i-PEL-ə-goh) or islands or island group is a chain or cluster of islands that are formed tectonically. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- ("chief") and πέλαγος – pelagos ("sea") through the Italian arcipelago. In Italian, possibly following a tradition of antiquity, the Arcipelago (from medieval Greek *ἀρχιπέλαγος) was the proper name for the Aegean Sea and, 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.[1]


Types of archipelago

Archipelagos can be found isolated in bodies of water; or a large land mass may neighbour them. For example, Scotland has more than 700 islands surrounding its mainland. Archipelagos are often volcanic, forming along island arcs generated by subduction zones or hotspots, but there are many other processes involved in their construction, including erosion, deposition and land elevation.

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