Aleutian Islands

Chain of islands in the northern Pacific Ocean / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Aleutian Islands (/əˈlʃən/;[2][3] Russian: Алеутские острова; Aleut: Unangam Tanangin, “Land of the Aleuts”, possibly from Chukchi aliat, "island"), also called the Aleut Islands[4] or Aleutic Islands[5] and known before 1867 as the Catherine Archipelago, are a chain of 14 large volcanic islands and 55 smaller islands. Most of the Aleutian Islands belong to the U.S. state of Alaska, but some belong to the Russian federal subject of Kamchatka Krai.[1] They form part of the Aleutian Arc in the Northern Pacific Ocean, occupying a land area of 6,821 sq mi (17,666 km2) and extending about 1,200 mi (1,900 km) westward from the Alaska Peninsula toward the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia, and act as a border between the Bering Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. Crossing longitude 180°, at which point east and west longitude end, the archipelago contains both the westernmost part of the United States by longitude (Amatignak Island) and the easternmost by longitude (Semisopochnoi Island). The westernmost U.S. island in real terms, however, is Attu Island, west of which runs the International Date Line. While nearly all the archipelago is part of Alaska and is usually considered as being in the "Alaskan Bush", at the extreme western end, the small, geologically related Commander Islands belong to Russia.

Quick facts: Native name Unangam Tanangin, Geography, Loc...
Aleutian Islands
Алеутские острова (Russian)
Native name:
Unangam Tanangin
Aleutian Islands outlined in red
Aleutian Islands
Location in the northern Pacific Ocean
LocationNorth Pacific Ocean, Bering Sea
Coordinates52.2°N 174.2°W / 52.2; -174.2
Total islands>300
Major islandsUnimak Island, Unalaska Island, Adak Island
Area6,821[1] sq mi (17,670 km2)
Length1,200 mi (1900 km)
Highest elevation9,373 ft (2856.9 m)
Highest pointMount Shishaldin, Unimak Is.
Federal subjectKamchatka Krai
United States
Largest settlementUnalaska (pop. 4,283)
Population8,162 (2000)
Pop. density0.84/sq mi (0.324/km2)
Ethnic groupsAleut
Additional information
Time zones
  Summer (DST)
  • Hawaii–Aleutian Daylight Time (UTC–9)
  • Alaska Daylight Time (UTC–8)

The islands, with their 57 volcanoes, form the northernmost part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Physiographically, they are a distinct section of the larger Pacific Border province, which in turn is part of the larger Pacific Mountain System physiographic division. The islands are considered to be among the most geographically isolated areas in the North Pacific.[6]

Battles and skirmishes occurred on the islands during the Aleutian Islands campaign of World War II. The Japanese landing and occupation of Kiska and Attu in June 1942 were the only two invasions of the United States during that war.