Alexander Archipelago (ärkĭpĕlˈəgō) [key], 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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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