Key Difference – Archipelago vs Island
Island and Archipelago are two words that have to be understood clearly as there exists a difference between them. Most people think that an island and as archipelago are similar. This is a false assumption. Although there is a clear connection between the two, they are different from one another. First let us define the two words. An island is a piece of land that is covered on all sides by water. An archipelago, on the other hand, is a group of islands. When observing the world map, you will notice that while some can be considered as islands the others have to be referred to as an archipelago. Through this article let us comprehend the difference between the two words in depth.
What is an Island?
An island can be understood as a piece of land that is covered on all sides by water. It is interesting to note that islands are usually formed of large masses of land. It is said that 16 of world’s largest islands constitute an area larger than the area occupied by the whole of the continent of Europe. There are also a large number of smaller islands too in this world.
It is important to know that islands are of four important varieties, namely, continental islands, oceanic islands, tectonic islands and coral islands. Continental islands are formed straight from the continental shelf like the British Isles. Oceanic islands rise straight from the depths of the ocean like the St. Helena. Tectonic islands are formed by the movement of the crust of the earth like the Barbados in the Caribbean whereas Coral islands are the results of the actions of the minute organisms of the sea called coral polyps. This gives an idea as to what an island is. Now let us move on to archipelagos.
What is an Archipelago?
An archipelago can be defined as a group of islands. The Hawaiian archipelago and the Caribbean archipelago are two of the best examples of an archipelago. Trinidad and Tobago are the southernmost islands of the Caribbean archipelago. Hence, it is understood that an island is a part of an archipelago and therefore it can be said that an island is a subset of the archipelago.
As a matter of fact, archipelagos are laden with a number of breath-taking beaches and water parks. This is due to the fact that it is a collection and conglomeration of many islands, each an abode of beaches and beach resorts. Hence, it can be said that archipelagos are the repositories of picturesque beauty and serenity of the highest order. The difference between an island and an archipelago can be summarized as follows.
What is the Difference Between an Island and an Archipelago?
Definitions of an Island and an Archipelago:
Island: An island is a piece of land that is covered on all sides by water.
Archipelago: An archipelago, on the other hand, is a group of islands.
Characteristics of an Island and an Archipelago:
Island: An island is a part of an archipelago, and therefore it can be said that an island is a subset of the archipelago.
Archipelago: An archipelago is a group of islands.
Island: Some examples for islands are Sri Lanka, British Isles, Barbados.
Archipelago: Some examples for archipelagos are Bermuda Islands, Canary Islands, Falkland Islands, West Estonian archipelago.
1. “Bathsheba, Barbados 08” by Postdlf from w. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
2. “Hawaje-NoRedLine” by Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. (IotD Date: 2003-06-03. IotD ID: 15304). [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons