Celtic Sea in July 2011
Bathymetric map of the Celtic Sea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, and its surroundings
|Basin countries||Ireland, England, Wales, France|
The Celtic Sea (Irish : An Mhuir Cheilteach; Welsh : Y Môr Celtaidd; Cornish : An Mor Keltek; Breton : Ar Mor Keltiek; French: La mer Celtique) is the area of the Atlantic Ocean off the south coast of Ireland bounded to the east by Saint George's Channel; other limits include the Bristol Channel, the English Channel, and the Bay of Biscay, as well as adjacent portions of Wales, Cornwall, Devon, and Brittany. The southern and western boundaries are delimited by the continental shelf, which drops away sharply. The Isles of Scilly are an archipelago of small islands in the sea.
The Celtic Sea receives its name from the Celtic heritage of the bounding lands to the north and east. W. L. Holt at a 1921 meeting in Dublin of fisheries experts from Great Britain, France, and Ireland. The northern portion of this sea was considered as part of Saint George's Channel and the southern portion as an undifferentiated part of the "Southwest Approaches" to Great Britain. The desire for a common name came to be felt because of the common marine biology, geology and hydrology of the area. It was adopted in France before being common in the English-speaking countries; in 1957 Édouard Le Danois wrote, "the name Celtic Sea is hardly known even to oceanographers." It was adopted by marine biologists and oceanographers, and later by petroleum exploration firms. It is named in a 1963 British atlas, but a 1972 article states "what British maps call the Western Approaches, and what the oil industry calls the Celtic Sea [...] certainly the residents on the western coast [of Great Britain] don't refer to it as such."The name was first proposed by E.
There are no land features to divide the Celtic Sea from the open Atlantic Ocean to the south and west. For these limits, Holt suggested the 200- fathom (370 m; 1,200 ft) marine contour and the island of Ushant off the tip of Brittany.
The definition approved by 1974 by the UK Hydrographer of the Navy for use in Admiralty Charts was "bounded roughly by lines joining Ushant, Land's End, Hartland Point, Lundy Island, St. Govan's Head and Rosslare, thence following the Irish coast south to Mizen Head and then along the 200-metre isobath to approximately the latitude of Ushant."
The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Celtic Sea as follows:
On the North. The Southern limit of the Irish Sea [a line joining St David's Head to Carnsore Point], the South coast of Ireland, thence from Mizen Head a line drawn to a position.
On the West and South. A line from the positionSouth to 49°N, thence to latitude 46°30'N on the Western limit of the Bay of Biscay [a line joining Cape Ortegal to Penmarch Point], thence along that line to Penmarch Point.
On the East. The Western limit of the English Channel [a line joining Île Vierge to Land's End] and the Western limit of the Bristol Channel [a line joining Hartland Point to St. Govan's Head].
The seabed under the Celtic Sea is called the Celtic Shelf, part of the continental shelf of Europe. The northeast portion has a depth of between 90 and 100 m (300–330 ft), increasing towards Saint George's Channel. In the opposite direction, sand ridges pointing southwest have a similar height, separated by troughs approximately 50 m (160 ft) deeper. These ridges were formed by tidal effects when the sea level was lower. South of 50°N the topography is more irregular.
Oil and gas exploration in the Celtic Sea has had limited commercial success. The Kinsale Head gas field supplied much of the Republic of Ireland in the 1980s and 1990s.
The Celtic Sea has a rich fishery with total annual catches of 1.8 million tonnes as of 2007.
Four cetacean species occur frequently in the area: minke whale, bottlenose dolphin, short-beaked common dolphin and harbor porpoise.Formerly, it held an abundance of marine mammals.
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The English Channel, also called simply the Channel, is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean that separates Southern England from northern France and links to the southern part of the North Sea by the Strait of Dover at its northeastern end. It is the busiest shipping area in the world.
The Bay of Biscay is a gulf of the northeast Atlantic Ocean located south of the Celtic Sea. It lies along the western coast of France from Point Penmarc'h to the Spanish border, and the northern coast of Spain west to Cape Ortegal.
The Gulf of Saint Lawrence is the outlet of the North American Great Lakes via the Saint Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean. The gulf is a semi-enclosed sea, covering an area of about 226,000 square kilometres (87,000 sq mi) and containing about 34,500 cubic kilometres (8,300 cu mi) of water, which results in an average depth of 152 metres (499 ft).
The Bristol Channel is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset in South West England. It extends from the lower estuary of the River Severn to the North Atlantic Ocean. It takes its name from the English city of Bristol, and is over 30 miles (50 km) wide at its western limit.
The Java Sea is an extensive shallow sea on the Sunda Shelf. It lies between the Indonesian islands of Borneo to the north, Java to the south, Sumatra to the west, and Sulawesi to the east. Karimata Strait to its northwest links it to the South China Sea.
The Celebes Sea of the western Pacific Ocean is bordered on the north by the Sulu Archipelago and Sulu Sea and Mindanao Island of the Philippines, on the east by the Sangihe Islands chain, on the south by Sulawesi's Minahassa Peninsula, and on the west by Kalimantan in Indonesia. It extends 420 miles (675 km) north-south by 520 mi (840 km) east-west and has a total surface area of 110,000 square miles (280,000 km2), to a maximum depth of 20,300 feet (6,200 m). The sea opens southwest through the Makassar Strait into the Java Sea.
Ushant is a French island at the south-western end of the English Channel which marks the north-westernmost point of metropolitan France. It belongs to Brittany and is in the traditional region of Leon. Administratively, Ushant is a commune in the Finistère department. It is the only place in Brittany, except the name Brittany itself, with a separate name in English.
Davis Strait is a northern arm of the Labrador Sea. It lies between mid-western Greenland and Nunavut, Canada's Baffin Island. To the north is Baffin Bay. The strait was named for the English explorer John Davis (1550–1605), who explored the area while seeking a Northwest Passage. By the 1650s it was used for whale hunting.
Chukchi Sea, sometimes referred to as the Chukotsk Sea or the Sea of Chukotsk, is a marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean. It is bounded on the west by the Long Strait, off Wrangel Island, and in the east by Point Barrow, Alaska, beyond which lies the Beaufort Sea. The Bering Strait forms its southernmost limit and connects it to the Bering Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The principal port on the Chukchi Sea is Uelen in Russia. The International Date Line crosses the Chukchi Sea from northwest to southeast. It is displaced eastwards to avoid Wrangel Island as well as the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug on the Russian mainland.
Avalon is a federal electoral district on Newfoundland Island in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It has been represented in the House of Commons of Canada since 2004.
St George's Channel is a sea channel connecting the Irish Sea to the north and the Celtic Sea to the southwest.
The Arafura Sea lies west of the Pacific Ocean, overlying the continental shelf between Australia and Indonesian New Guinea.
The Solomon Sea is a sea located within the Pacific Ocean. It lies between Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Many major battles were fought there during World War II.
The North Channel is the strait between north-eastern Northern Ireland and south-western Scotland. It connects the Irish Sea with the Atlantic Ocean, and is part of the marine area officially classified as the "Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland" by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).
Iroise or the Iroise Sea is the part of the Atlantic Ocean which stretches from the Ile de Sein to Ushant off the coast of Brittany in north-western France. It is contained within the Celtic Sea, bordering the remainder of the Celtic Sea to the north and west, and the Bay of Biscay to the south. It is one of the most dangerous seas in Europe for sea-going vessels. In winter, there are often violent storms with huge waves. It is also one of the richest areas for marine life and was designated as one of UNESCO's biosphere reserves in 1988 and as France's first marine park in October 2007.
The geography of the North Sea studies coastal and submarine features as well as the people who live on its coasts. It is bounded by the east coasts of England and Scotland to the west and the northern and central European mainland to the east and south, including Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. In the south-west, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively. In the north, it opens in a widening funnel shape to the Norwegian Sea, which lies in the very north-eastern part of the Atlantic.
The Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain; linked to the Celtic Sea in the south by St George's Channel, and to the Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland in the north by the North Channel, also known as the Straits of Moyle. The countries that are on its shoreline are, Scotland on the north, England on the east, Wales on the southeast, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland on the west.
The Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland is a marine area designated by the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). It consists of a number of waterbodies between the Scottish mainland, the Outer Hebrides islands, and the coast of Ireland.
The borders of the oceans are the limits of the Earth's oceanic waters. The definition and number of oceans can vary depending on the adopted criteria.
The Malin Sea is a marginal sea of the North-East Atlantic over the Malin Shelf, the continental shelf north of Ireland and southwest of Scotland. It is connected to the Irish Sea by the North Channel, and overlaps the Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland. Of the UK Shipping Forecast areas, the Malin Sea covers most of Malin, and by some definitions extends into Rockall. The area is within the exclusive economic zones of Ireland and the United Kingdom.