Alexander Archipelago

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Alexander Archipelago

Alexander Archipelago (ärkĭpĕlˈəgō), island group off SE Alaska. The islands are the exposed tops of the submerged coastal mountains that rise steeply from the Pacific Ocean. Deep, fjordlike channels separate the islands and cut them off from the mainland; the northern part of the Inside Passage threads its way among the islands. The largest islands are Chichagof, Admiralty, Baranof, Wrangell, Revillagigedo, Kupreanof, Mitkoff, and Prince of Wales. All the islands are rugged, densely forested, and have an abundance of wildlife. The Tlingit are native to the area. Ketchikan on Revillagigedo and Sitka on Baranof are the main centers of population. Lumbering, trapping, fishing, and canning are the main industries. The archipelago was visited by the Russians in 1741 and was later explored by Britain, Spain, and the United States.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Alexander Archipelago

 

an island group off the western coast of North America; part of Alaska, USA. Consisting of 1,100 islands and cliffs, it covers a total area of 36,800 sq km. The largest islands are Prince of Wales, Admiralty, Baranof, Chichagof, and Kupreanof. Composed of intrusive and metamorphic rocks, the archipelago has a mountainous landscape rising to an elevation of 1,432 m. The shores are steep, with many fjords. The channels between the islands and the mainland form a convenient inner ice-free navigation route. The climate is temperate and oceanic, with the average temperature in January ranging between –1.6° and 1.2°C and in July, between 12° and 14°C. The annual precipitation is 2,000–3,000 mm. Up to an altitude of 1,000–1,100 m, the islands are covered with dense fir tree forests and above that, with mountain meadows. The population is about 30,000 (1963), including 8,000–9,000 native residents. The major industries are fur farming and salmon fishing. The archipelago was discovered in 1741 by the Russian expedition of Bering and Chirikov. Until 1867 it was the center of the Russian colony in America with the capital in the city of Sitka, which was called Novo Arkhangel’sk between 1804 and 1867.

REFERENCES

Agranat, G. A., A. B. Kupriianov, and V. F. Puzanova. Naselenie i resursy Amerikanskogo Severa. Moscow, 1963.
Landscapes of Alaska. Edited by H. Williams. Berkeley-Los Angeles, 1958.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Alexander Archipelago

a group of over 1000 islands along the coast of SE Alaska
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005