A fjard (Swedish: fjärd, IPA: [ˈfjæːɖ]) 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.

Somes Sound Mount Desert Island
The fjard of Somes Sound, Maine, USA.

Fjards vs. Fjords vs. Föhrden vs. Rias

Although fjards and fjords are similar in that they are a glacially-formed topography, they still differ in some key ways:

  • Fjords are characterized by steep high relief cliffs carved by glacial activity and often have split or branching channels.
  • Fjards are a glacial depression or valley that has much lower relief than a fjord. Fjards fill with eroded local materials which assists "filling" along with rising sea level since the last ice age contributing as well. Other low relief landforms that are only associated with fjards such as mud flats, salt marshes, and flood plains[1] further characterize the difference between fjords and fjards.
  • "Föhrden" of the German coast and the fjords of Danish eastern Jutland together form a third type of glacial inlets. They tend to occur along older 'beheaded' river channels and open into the tideless Baltic sea.
  • Rias are drowned valleys, such as the estuaries of Thames, Severn and Humber, firths of Tay and Forth. Rias indicate likely post-glacial subsidence of the land into a tidal sea.[2]



  1. ^ ABPmer and HR Wallingford. 2007. Understanding and Managing Morphological Change in Estuaries, Ch. 3 of The Estuary-Guide: A website based overview of how to identify and predict morphological change within estuaries., Joint Defra/EA Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management R&D Programme. UK Department for Environment, Food, and Public Affairs.
  2. ^ Gregory, J.W. (1913). The Nature and Origin of Fiords. London: John Murray. pp. 120–133.
  3. ^ Bird, E.C.F., 2008, Coastal Geomorphology: An Introduction, 2nd ed. John Wiley and Sons Ltd. West Sussex, England. ISBN 978-0-470-51729-1
  4. ^ Cooper, J. A. G. (2006). "Geomorphology of Irish estuaries: inherited and dynamic controls". Journal of Coastal Research: 176–180. JSTOR 25741557.
  5. ^ Jackson, J.A., 1997, Glossary of Geology. American Geological Institute. Alexandria, Virginia. ISBN 0-922152-34-9
  6. ^ Goudie, A., 2004, Encyclopedia of Geomorphology. Routledge. London, England. ISBN 0-415-27298-X
Abraham Somes

Abraham Somes (March 14, 1732 – September 7, 1819) was the primary founder of English settlements on the scenic Mount Desert Island, which is now part of Acadia National Park in present-day Maine.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is an American national park located in the state of Maine, southwest of Bar Harbor. The park preserves about half of Mount Desert Island, many adjacent smaller islands, and part of the Schoodic Peninsula on the coast of Maine. Acadia was initially designated Sieur de Monts National Monument by proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson in 1916. Sieur de Monts was renamed and redesignated Lafayette National Park by Congress in 1919—the first national park in the United States east of the Mississippi River and the only one in the Northeastern United States. The park was renamed Acadia National Park in 1929. More than 3.5 million people visited the park in 2018.

Native Americans of the Algonquian nations have inhabited the area called Acadia for at least 12,000 years. They traded furs for European goods when French, English, and Dutch ships began arriving in the early 17th century. The Wabanaki Confederacy has held an annual Native American Festival in Bar Harbor since 1989. Samuel de Champlain named the island Isle des Monts Deserts (Island of Barren Mountains) in 1604. The island was granted to Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac by Louis XIV of France in 1688, then ceded to England in 1713. Summer visitors, nicknamed rusticators, arrived in 1855, followed by wealthy families, nicknamed cottagers as their large houses were quaintly called cottages. Charles Eliot is credited with the idea for the park. George B. Dorr, the "Father of Acadia National Park," along with Eliot's father Charles W. Eliot, supported the idea through donations of land, and advocacy at the state and federal levels. John D. Rockefeller Jr. financed the construction of carriage roads from 1915 to 1940. A wildfire in 1947 burned much of the park and destroyed 237 houses, including 67 of the millionaires’ cottages.

The park includes mountains, an ocean coastline, coniferous and deciduous woodlands, lakes, ponds, and wetlands encompassing a total of 49,075 acres (76.7 sq mi; 198.6 km2) as of 2017. Key sites on Mount Desert Island include Cadillac Mountain—the tallest mountain on the eastern coastline and one of the first places in the United States where one can watch the sunrise—a rocky coast featuring Thunder Hole where waves crash loudly into a crevasse around high tides, a sandy swimming beach called Sand Beach, and numerous lakes and ponds. Jordan Pond features the glacially rounded North and South Bubbles (rôche moutonnées) at its northern end, while Echo Lake has the only freshwater swimming beach in the park. Somes Sound is a five-mile (8 km) long fjard formed during a glacial period that reshaped the entire island to its present form, including the U-shaped valleys containing the many ponds and lakes. The Bass Harbor Head Light is situated above a steep, rocky headland on the southwest coast—the only lighthouse on the island.

The park protects the habitats of 37 mammalian species including black bears, moose and white-tailed deer, seven reptilian species including milk snakes and snapping turtles, eleven amphibian species including wood frogs and spotted salamanders, 33 fish species including rainbow smelt and brook trout, and as many as 331 birds including various species of raptors, songbirds and waterfowl. In 1991, peregrine falcons had a successful nesting in Acadia for the first time since 1956. Falcon chicks are often banded to study migration, habitat use, and longevity. Some trails may be closed in spring and early summer to avoid disturbance to falcon nesting areas.

Recreational activities from spring through autumn include car and bus touring along the park's paved loop road; hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding on carriage roads (motor vehicles are prohibited); rock climbing; kayaking and canoeing on lakes and ponds; swimming at Sand Beach and Echo Lake; sea kayaking and guided boat tours on the ocean; and various ranger-led programs. Winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and ice fishing. Two campgrounds are located on Mount Desert Island, another campground is on the Schoodic Peninsula, and five lean-to sites are on Isle au Haut. The main visitor center is at Hulls Cove, northwest of Bar Harbor.


Bråviken is a bay of the Baltic sea that is located near Norrköping in Östergötland, Sweden. It is an example of a fjard, a drowned shallow glacial valley.

Coastal geography

Coastal geography is the study of the constantly changing region between the ocean and the land, incorporating both the physical geography (i.e. coastal geomorphology, geology and oceanography) and the human geography (sociology and history) 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


Geologically, a fjord or fiord ( (listen)) 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, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland, Kamchatka, the Kerguelen Islands, New Zealand, Norway, Novaya Zemlya, Labrador, Nunavut, Newfoundland, Quebec, Scotland, South Georgia Island, 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.

Fjord (disambiguation)

A fjord (or fiord) a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created by a glacier.

Fjord may also refer to:

Fjord City, an urban renewal project for the waterfront of Oslo, Norway

Fjord horse, a Norwegian horse breed

Fjord Line, a Norwegian ferry operator

Fjords (board game), a tile-based German-style board game

Fjord, a half-Orc Warlock player character in the web series Critical Role

Färnebofjärden National Park

Färnebofjärden National Park (Swedish: Färnebofjärdens nationalpark) is a Swedish national park traversed by the river Dalälven, about 140 km (87 mi) north of Stockholm. It covers 10,100 ha (25,000 acres), of which 4,110 ha (10,200 acres) aquatic, on the frontier between the counties of Dalarna and Gävleborg.

After the retreat of the ice sheet that covered the region after the last ice age, the river found itself rerouted by an esker onto a plain uniquely ribbed by the ridges of other eskers, where it formed a succession of rapids and wide bays (called fjärdar), which the river inundates during the spring floods. This particular hydrography, along with the park's proximity to the ecological frontier between the north and the south, has favored the development of a fauna and flora of great biodiversity. The park possesses coniferous, mixed, and broadleaf forests, some of which quite ancient, spared by the logging industry because of their inaccessibility. These forests constitute the ideal environment for numerous species, in particular birds, with critical densities of woodpeckers and owls.

If the presence of humans was relatively discreet since the Stone Age, concentrated principally atop the eskers, the development of mining activity (in particular of iron) has profoundly affected the region. The forests were exploited to feed the water-powered forges which grew up along the river. One of the most important was that of Gysinge, founded in 1668 and situated right next to the park. In 1975, in reaction to the threat of the clearing of a vast forest, the movement for the creation of a national park began, culminating in the park's opening in 1998. The park was added to the Natura 2000 Network and included in the Ramsar Convention's list of wetlands.

The park and its environs are important tourist destinations. The river is its favored mode of discovery, but some hiking trails permit other explorations. The park is equally appreciated by fishing enthusiasts.

Förden and East Jutland Fjorde

The eastern coast of the Jutland Peninsula, consisting of Danish Jutland and German Schleswig-Holstein features a type of narrow bay called Förde (plural: Förden) in German and fjord (plural fjorde) in Danish. These bays are of glacial origin, but the glacial mechanics were different from those of Norwegian Fjords and also from those of Swedish and Finnish Fjards.

The words Förde, fjord and fjard are of the same origin as the English word firth, but today there are differences in the meaning between firth (Förde) and fjord in general.

Galten (basin)

Galten is a fjard of Lake Mälaren, the third-largest lake in Sweden. It is the westernmost part of the lake, and is connected to the fjard of Blacken in the east through the strait of Kvicksund.


The Hårsfjärden, or Horsfjärden (Swedish pronunciation: [²hɔʂːˌfjæːɖɛn]), is a fjard off the Baltic Sea near Stockholm, Sweden. About 20 kilometres (12 mi) long, it has surface area of 61.5 kilometres (38.21 mi).

It is the location of three Swedish naval bases: Märsgarn, Muskö, and Berga.

It was the location of the Hårsfjärden incident, during October 1–13, 1982, in which Swedish forces appeared to have trapped a foreign submarine, believed to be Soviet, but the submarine escaped.Three Swedish destroyers were sunk in the Hårsfjärden in an explosion on 17 September 1941, during World War II. The three destroyers sunk at a naval base on the fjord were Göteborg, Klas Horn and Klas Ugla. Göteborg and Klas Horn were later salvaged and returned to service, while Klas Ugla was scrapped.

Ingression coast

An ingression coast or depressed coast is a generally level coastline that is shaped by the penetration of the sea as a result of crustal movements or a rise in the sea level.

Such coasts are characterised by a subaerially formed relief that has previously experienced little deformation by littoral (tidal) processes, because the sea level, which had fallen by more than 100 metres during the last glacial period, did not reach its current level until about 6,000 years ago.

Depending on the geomorphological shaping of the flooded landform – e. g. glacially or fluvially formed relief – various types of ingression coast emerge, such as rias, skerry and fjard coasts as well as förde and bodden coasts.


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, skerries, cays or keys. An island in a river or a lake island may be called an eyot or ait, and a small island off the coast may be called a holm. A grouping of geographically or geologically related islands is called an archipelago, such as the Philippines.

An island may be described as such, despite the presence of an artificial land bridge; examples are Singapore and its causeway, and the various Dutch delta islands, such as IJsselmonde. Some places may even retain "island" in their names for historical reasons after being connected to a larger landmass by a land bridge or landfill, such as Coney Island and Coronado Island, though these are, strictly speaking, tied islands. Conversely, when a piece of land is separated from the mainland by a man-made canal, for example the Peloponnese by the Corinth Canal or Marble Hill in northern Manhattan during the time between the building of the United States Ship Canal and the filling-in of the Harlem River which surrounded the area, it is generally not considered an island.

There are two main types of islands in the sea: continental and oceanic. There are also artificial islands.

Killary Harbour

Killary Harbour (Irish: An Caoláire Rua) is a fjord (or possibly a fjard) located in the west of Ireland, in northern Connemara, and the border between counties Galway and Mayo runs down its centre.

List of fjords of the United States

The fjords of the United States are mostly found along the glacial regions of the coasts of Alaska and Washington. These fjords — long narrow inlets in valleys carved by glacial activity — can have two or more basins separated by sills.

Most of the fjords in Washington originate off Puget Sound and the Salish Sea, while fjords in Alaska originate from numerous, more varied locations.

Somes Sound, a fjard located within Acadia National Park, is often mistaken for being the only fjord located along the eastern coast of the United States.


Lövsele is a village in Lövånger socken in Skellefteå Municipality, Västerbotten County, Sweden. The village is located by the European route E4 about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) south of Lövånger.


Mudflats or mud flats, also known as tidal flats, are coastal wetlands that form in intertidal areas where sediments have been deposited by tides or rivers. A recent global analysis suggested they are as extensive globally as mangroves. They are found in sheltered areas such as bays, bayous, lagoons, and estuaries. Mudflats may be viewed geologically as exposed layers of bay mud, resulting from deposition of estuarine silts, clays and marine animal detritus. Most of the sediment within a mudflat is within the intertidal zone, and thus the flat is submerged and exposed approximately twice daily.

In the past tidal flats were considered unhealthy, economically unimportant areas and were often dredged and developed into agricultural land. Several especially shallow mudflat areas, such as the Wadden Sea, are now popular among those practising the sport of mudflat hiking.

On the Baltic Sea coast of Germany in places, mudflats are exposed not by tidal action, but by wind-action driving water away from the shallows into the sea. These wind-affected mudflats are called windwatts in German.

Somes Sound

Somes Sound is a fjard,

a body of water running deep into Mount Desert Island, the main site of Acadia National Park in Maine, United States. Its deepest point is approximately 175 feet (50 m), and it is over 100 feet (30 m) deep in several places. The sound almost splits the island in two.

While often described as the "only fjord on the East Coast", it lacks the extreme vertical relief and anoxic sediments associated with Norwegian fjords, and is now called a fjard by officials — a smaller drowned glacial embayment.

Somes Sound was named for Abraham Somes, who was one of the first settlers on the island and had a home at the end of the sound in Somesville, the first village on the island.

Sundsvall Bridge

Coordinates: 62°23′20″N 17°20′31″E

The Sundsvall Bridge (Swedish: Sundsvallsbron) isn a bridge across the Sundsvall Fjard in Sundsvall, Sweden. It crosses the Bay of Sundsvall, bypassing the city. The bridge roadway is classed as motorway and forms part of European Route E4.

Since 1st February 2015 there has been a charge of SEK 9 per car, light truck and bus. Heavy trucks are charged SEK 20.

The bridge is 2,109 metres (6,919 ft) long and it was opened for traffic on December 18, 2014. It is the fourth longest bridge in Sweden.

Surf zone

As ocean surface waves come closer to shore they break, forming the foamy, bubbly surface called surf. The region of breaking waves defines the surf zone. After breaking in the surf zone, the waves (now reduced in height) continue to move in, and they run up onto the sloping front of the beach, forming an uprush of water called swash. The water then runs back again as backswash. The nearshore zone where wave water comes onto the beach is the surf zone. The water in the surf zone, or breaker zone, is shallow, usually between 5 and 10 m (16 and 33 ft) deep; this causes the waves to be unstable.



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