An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...
of eight major island
An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atolls can be called islets, cays or keys. An island in a river or lake may be called an eyot , or holm...
s, several atoll
An atoll is a coral island that encircles a lagoon partially or completely.- Usage :The word atoll comes from the Dhivehi word atholhu OED...
s, numerous smaller islet
An islet is a very small island.- Types :As suggested by its origin as islette, an Old French diminutive of "isle", use of the term implies small size, but little attention is given to drawing an upper limit on its applicability....
s, and undersea seamount
A seamount is a mountain rising from the ocean seafloor that does not reach to the water's surface , and thus is not an island. These are typically formed from extinct volcanoes, that rise abruptly and are usually found rising from a seafloor of depth. They are defined by oceanographers as...
s in the North Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...
, extending some 1,500 miles (2,400 km) from the island of Hawaii
The Island of Hawaii, also called the Big Island or Hawaii Island , is a volcanic island in the North Pacific Ocean...
in the south to northernmost Kure Atoll
Kure Atoll or Ocean Island is an atoll in the Pacific Ocean beyond Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands at . The only land of significant size is called Green Island and is habitat for hundreds of thousands of seabirds...
(the northwesternmost island in Hawaii is Green Island, which is joined to the Kure Atoll). Excluding Midway
Midway Atoll is a atoll in the North Pacific Ocean, near the northwestern end of the Hawaiian archipelago, about one-third of the way between Honolulu, Hawaii, and Tokyo, Japan. Unique among the Hawaiian islands, Midway observes UTC-11 , eleven hours behind Coordinated Universal Time and one hour...
, which is an unincorporated territory of the United States, the Hawaiian Islands form the U.S.
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
state of Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...