Bay

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Upper New York Bay and the Hudson River in the foreground; the East River is on the right, just above center. Lower Manhattan Areal April 2013b.jpg
Upper New York Bay and the Hudson River in the foreground; the East River is on the right, just above center.
The bay at San Sebastian, Spain San Sebastian aerea.jpg
The bay at San Sebastián, Spain
The Bay of Bengal in South Asia Bay of Bengal map.png
The Bay of Bengal in South Asia
The Bothnian Bay at Kalajoki, Finland Auringonlasku.jpg
The Bothnian Bay at Kalajoki, Finland
The bay of Baracoa, Cuba DirkvdM baracoa panorama.jpg
The bay of Baracoa, Cuba
The bay of Haifa, Israel. Haifa Bay Panorama.jpg
The bay of Haifa, Israel.

A bay is a recessed, coastal body of water that directly connects to a larger main body of water, such as an ocean, a lake, or another bay. [1] [2] [3] A large bay is usually called a gulf, sea, sound, or bight. A cove is a small, circular bay with a narrow entrance. A fjord is a particularly steep bay shaped by glacial activity.

Contents

A bay can be the estuary of a river, such as the Chesapeake Bay, an estuary of the Susquehanna River. [2] Bays may also be nested within each other; for example, James Bay is an arm of Hudson Bay in northeastern Canada. Some large bays, such as the Bay of Bengal and Hudson Bay, have varied marine geology.

The land surrounding a bay often reduces the strength of winds and blocks waves. Bays may have as wide a variety of shoreline characteristics as other shorelines. In some cases, bays have beaches, which "are usually characterized by a steep upper foreshore with a broad, flat fronting terrace". [4] Bays were significant in the history of human settlement because they provided safe places for fishing. Later they were important in the development of sea trade as the safe anchorage they provide encouraged their selection as ports. [5]

Definition

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) defines a bay as a well-marked indentation whose penetration is in such proportion to the width of its mouth as to contain land-locked waters and constitute more than a mere curvature of the coast. An indentation shall not, however, be regarded as a bay unless its area is as large as, or larger than, that of the semi-circle whose diameter is a line drawn across the mouth of that indentation.

Formation

There are various ways in which bays can form. The largest bays have developed through plate tectonics. [5] As the super-continent Pangaea broke up along curved and indented fault lines, the continents moved apart and left large bays; these include the Gulf of Guinea, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Bay of Bengal, which is the world's largest bay. [5]

Bays also form through coastal erosion by rivers and glaciers. [5] A bay formed by a glacier is a fjord. Rias are created by rivers and are characterised by more gradual slopes. Deposits of softer rocks erode more rapidly, forming bays, while harder rocks erode less quickly, leaving headlands.

See also

Related Research Articles

Valley Low area between hills, often with a river running through it

A valley is an elongated low area often running between hills or mountains, which will typically contain a river or stream running from one end to the other. Most valleys are formed by erosion of the land surface by rivers or streams over a very long period of time. Some valleys are formed through erosion by glacial ice. These glaciers may remain present in valleys in high mountain or polar areas. At lower latitudes and altitudes, these glacially-formed valleys may have been created or enlarged during ice ages but now are ice-free and occupied by streams or rivers. In desert areas, valleys may be entirely dry or carry a watercourse only rarely. In areas of limestone bedrock, dry valleys may also result from drainage taking place underground rather than at the surface. Rift valleys arise principally from earth movements, rather than erosion. Many different types of valley are described by geographers, using terms that may be global in use or else applied only locally.

Fjord A long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by glacial activity

In geology, a fjord or fiord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by a glacier. There are many fjords on the coasts of Alaska, Antarctica, British Columbia, Chile, Denmark, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Ireland, Kamchatka, the Kerguelen Islands, New Zealand, Norway, Novaya Zemlya, Labrador, Nunavut, Newfoundland, Quebec, Scotland, South Georgia Island, Isla de los Estados, and Washington state. Norway's coastline is estimated at 29,000 kilometres (18,000 mi) with nearly 1,200 fjords, but only 2,500 kilometres (1,600 mi) when fjords are excluded.

Potomac River River in the Mid-Atlantic United States

The Potomac River is found within the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and flows from the Potomac Highlands into the Chesapeake Bay. The river is approximately 405 miles (652 km) long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles (38,000 km2). In terms of area, this makes the Potomac River the fourth largest river along the East Coast of the United States and the 21st largest in the United States. Over 5 million people live within the Potomac watershed.

Chesapeake Bay An estuary in the U.S. states of Maryland and Virginia

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. The Bay is located in the Mid-Atlantic region and is primarily separated from the Atlantic Ocean by the Delmarva Peninsula with its mouth of the Bay at the south end located between Cape Henry and Cape Charles. With its northern portion in Maryland and the southern part in Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay is a very important feature for the ecology and economy of those two states, as well as others surrounding within its watershed. More than 150 major rivers and streams flow into the Bay's 64,299-square-mile (166,534 km2) drainage basin, which covers parts of six states and all of Washington, D.C.

Estuary Partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with river stream flow, and with a free connection to the sea

An estuary is a partially enclosed coastal body of brackish water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea.

Landforms are categorized by characteristic physical attributes such as their creating process, shape, elevation, slope, orientation, rock exposure, and soil type.

Ria A coastal inlet formed by the partial submergence of an unglaciated river valley

A ria is a coastal inlet formed by the partial submergence of an unglaciated river valley. It is a drowned river valley that remains open to the sea. Typically, rias have a dendritic, treelike outline although they can be straight and without significant branches. This pattern is inherited from the dendritic drainage pattern of the flooded river valley. The drowning of river valleys along a stretch of coast and formation of rias results in an extremely irregular and indented coastline. Often, there are naturally-occurring islands, which are summits of partly submerged, preexisting hill peaks.

Sound (geography) A long, relatively wide body of water, connecting two larger bodies of water

In geography, a sound is a large sea or ocean inlet, deeper than a bight and wider than a fjord; or a narrow sea or ocean channel between two bodies of land.

Body of water Any significant accumulation of water, generally on a planets surface

A body of water or waterbody is any significant accumulation of water, generally on a planet's surface. The term most often refers to oceans, seas, and lakes, but it includes smaller pools of water such as ponds, wetlands, or more rarely, puddles. A body of water does not have to be still or contained; rivers, streams, canals, and other geographical features where water moves from one place to another are also considered bodies of water.

Coastal geography Study of the region between the ocean and the land

Coastal geography is the study of the constantly changing region between the ocean and the land, incorporating both the physical geography and the human geography of the coast. It includes understanding coastal weathering processes, particularly wave action, sediment movement and weather, and the ways in which humans interact with the coast

Geology of Pennsylvania Overview of the geology of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania

The Geology of Pennsylvania consists of six distinct physiographic provinces, three of which are subdivided into different sections. Each province has its own economic advantages and geologic hazards and plays an important role in shaping everyday life in the state. They are: the Atlantic Coastal Plain Province, the Piedmont Province, the New England Province, the Ridge and Valley Province, the Appalachian Plateau Province, and the Central Lowlands Province.

Zona Austral

The Zona Austral is one of the five natural regions into which CORFO divided continental Chile in 1950 corresponding to the Chilean portion of Patagonia. It is surrounded by the Zona Sur and the Chacao Channel to the north, the Pacific Ocean and Drake's Passage to the south and west, and the Andean mountains and Argentina to the east. If excluding Chiloé Archipelago Zona Austral covers all of Chilean Patagonia.

Coastline of the North Sea

The coastline of the North Sea has been evolving since the end of the last ice age. The coastline varies from fjords, river estuaries to mudflats.

Fjard A glacially formed, broad, shallow inlet

A fjard is a large open space of water between groups of islands or mainland in archipelagos. Fjards can be found along sea coasts, in freshwater lakes or rivers. Fjard and Fjord are originally the same word with the general meaning of sailable waterway. In Scandinavia, fjords dominate along the North Sea coast while fjards dominate the Baltic Sea coast.

Geology of Cape Town Geological formations and their history in the vicinity of Cape Town

Cape Town lies at the south-western corner of the continent of Africa. It is bounded to the south and west by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the north and east by various other municipalities in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Living shorelines

Living shorelines are a relatively new approach for addressing shoreline erosion and protecting marsh areas. Unlike traditional structures such as bulkheads or seawalls that worsen erosion, living shorelines incorporate as many natural elements as possible which create more effective buffers in absorbing wave energy and protecting against shoreline erosion. The process of creating a living shoreline is referred to as soft engineering, which utilizes techniques that incorporate ecological principles in shoreline stabilization. The natural materials used in the construction of living shorelines create and maintain valuable habitats. Structural and organic materials commonly used in the construction of living shorelines include sand, wetland plants, sand fill, oyster reefs, submerged aquatic vegetation, stones and coir fiber logs.

Bessel Fjord, NW Greenland

Bessel Fjord, also known as Bessels Bay, is a fjord in northwestern Greenland. Administratively it belongs to the Avannaata municipality.

Inglefield Gulf Fjord in northwestern Greenland

Inglefield Gulf or Inglefield Fjord is a fjord in northwestern Greenland. To the west, the fjord opens into the Baffin Bay. Administratively it belongs to the Avannaata municipality.

Cape Møsting

Cape Møsting is a headland in the North Atlantic Ocean, southeast Greenland, Kujalleq municipality.

References

  1. "Definition of BAY". Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  2. 1 2 "Chesapeake Bay, Maryland". Maryland Manual On-Line. Maryland State Archives. November 28, 2016. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  3. "bay". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
  4. Maurice Schwartz, Encyclopedia of Coastal Science (2006), p. 129.
  5. 1 2 3 4 Carreck, Rosalind, ed. (1982). The Family Encyclopedia of Natural History. The Hamlyn Publishing Group. p. 202. ISBN   978-0-11-202257-2.