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An archipelago is a landform which consists of a chain or cluster of islands. Archipelagoes usually occur in the open sea; less commonly a large land mass may neighbour them. Archipelagos are often volcanic, forming along ocean ridges or hot spots, but there are many other processes involved in their construction, including erosion and deposition.

The word comes from the Aegean Sea (Italian Arcipelago), which literally means "chief sea", from Greek arkhi (leader) and pelagos (sea). The Aegean Sea is located between Greece in the west and Turkey in the east. The Venetian Dukes of Arcipelago ruled from Naxos, 1210 - 1566.

List of archipelagoes

See also

Lists of islands: