Strait

A strait is a naturally formed, narrow, typically navigable waterway that connects two larger bodies of water. Most commonly it is a channel of water that lies between two land masses. Some straits are not navigable, for example because they are too shallow, or because of an unnavigable reef or archipelago.

Terminology

The terms channel, pass or passage, can be synonymous and used interchangeably with strait, although each is sometimes differentiated with varying senses. In Scotland firth or kyle are also sometimes used as synonyms for strait.

Many straits are economically important. Straits can be important shipping routes and wars have been fought for control of them.

Numerous artificial channels, called canals, have been constructed to connect two bodies of water over land, such as the Suez Canal. Although rivers and canals often provide passage between two large lakes or a lake and a sea, and these seem to suit the formal definition of strait, they are not usually referred to as such. The term strait is typically reserved for much larger, wider features of the marine environment. There are exceptions, with straits being called canals, Pearse Canal, for example.

Comparisons

Straits are the converse of isthmuses. That is, while a strait lies between two land masses and connects two larger bodies of water, an isthmus lies between two bodies of water and connects two larger land masses.

Some straits have the potential to generate significant tidal power using tidal stream turbines. Tides are more predictable than wave power or wind power. The Pentland Firth (a strait) may be capable of generating 10 GW.[1] Cook Strait in New Zealand may be capable of generating 1.21 GW[2] even though the total energy available in the flow is 15 GW.[3]

Navigational (legal) regime

Straits used for international navigation through the territorial sea between one part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone and another part of the high seas or an exclusive economic zone are subject to the legal regime of transit passage (Strait of Gibraltar, Dover Strait, Strait of Hormuz). The regime of innocent passage applies in straits used for international navigation (1) that connect a part of high seas or an exclusive economic zone with the territorial sea of coastal nation (Strait of Tiran, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Strait of Baltiysk) and (2) in straits formed by an island of a state bordering the strait and its mainland if there exists seaward of the island a route through the high seas or through an exclusive economic zone of similar convenience with respect to navigational and hydrographical characteristics (Strait of Messina, Pentland Firth). There may be no suspension of innocent passage through such straits.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Marine Briefing" (December 2006) Scottish Renewables Forum. Glasgow.
  2. ^ "The Energetics of Large Tidal Turbine Arrays, Ross Vennell, 2012, preprint submitted to Royal Society, 2011."
  3. ^ "Estimating the power potential of tidal currents and the impact of power extraction on flow speeds. Ross Vennell, 2011" doi:10.1016/j.renene.2011.05.011

External links

Media related to Straits at Wikimedia Commons

Anglican Church of Australia

The Anglican Church of Australia, formerly known as the Church of England in Australia, is a Christian church in Australia and an autonomous church of the Anglican Communion. It is the second largest church in Australia, after the Roman Catholic Church. According to the 2016 census, 3.1 million Australians identify as Anglicans. For much of Australian history the church was the largest religious denomination. It remains today one of the largest providers of social welfare services in Australia.

Bass Strait

Bass Strait is a sea strait separating Tasmania from the Australian mainland, specifically the state of Victoria.

Battle of Leyte Gulf

The Battle of Leyte Gulf (Filipino: Labanan sa Look ng Leyte) is considered to have been the largest naval battle of World War II and, by some criteria, possibly the largest naval battle in history, with over 200,000 naval personnel involved. It was fought in waters near the Philippine islands of Leyte, Samar, and Luzon, from 23–26 October 1944, between combined American and Australian forces and the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN), as part of the invasion of Leyte, which aimed to isolate Japan from the countries it had occupied in Southeast Asia which were a vital source of industrial and oil supplies.

By the time of the battle, Japan had fewer capital ships (aircraft carriers and battleships) left than the Allied forces had total aircraft carriers, underscoring the disparity in force strength at this point in the war. Regardless, the IJN mobilized nearly all of its remaining major naval vessels in an attempt to defeat the Allied invasion, but it was repulsed by the U.S. Navy's Third and Seventh fleets.

The battle consisted of four main separate engagements: the Battle of the Sibuyan Sea, the Battle of Surigao Strait, the Battle of Cape Engaño and the Battle off Samar, as well as lesser actions.This was the first battle in which Japanese aircraft carried out organized kamikaze attacks, and the last naval battle between battleships in history. The IJN suffered heavy losses and never sailed in comparable force thereafter, stranded for lack of fuel in their bases for the rest of the war, and were unable to affect the successful Allied invasion of Leyte.

Bering Strait

The Bering Strait is a strait of the Pacific, which separates Russia and Alaska slightly south of the Arctic Circle at about 65° 40' N latitude. The present Russia-US east-west boundary is at 168° 58' 37" W. The Strait is named after Vitus Bering, an explorer in the service of the Russian Empire.

The Strait has been the subject of the scientific hypothesis that humans migrated from Asia to North America across a land bridge known as Beringia when lower ocean levels – perhaps a result of glaciers locking up vast amounts of water – exposed a wide stretch of the sea floor, both at the present strait and in the shallow sea north and south of it. This view of how Paleo-Indians entered America has been the dominant one for several decades and continues to be the most accepted one. Numerous successful crossings without the use of a boat have also been recorded since at least the early 20th century.

Since 2012, the Russian coast of the Bering Strait has been a closed military zone. Through organized trips and the use of special permits, it is possible for foreigners to visit. All arrivals must be through an airport or a cruise port, near the Bering Strait only at Anadyr or Provideniya. Unauthorized travelers who arrive on shore after crossing the strait, even those with visas, may be arrested, imprisoned briefly, fined, deported and banned from future visas.

Bosporus

The Bosporus () or Bosphorus (; Ancient Greek: Βόσπορος Bosporos [bós.po.ros]; also known as The Strait of Istanbul; Turkish: İstanbul Boğazı) is a narrow, natural strait and an internationally significant waterway located in northwestern Turkey. It forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, and divides Turkey by separating Anatolia from Thrace. The world's narrowest strait used for international navigation, the Bosporus connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and, by extension via the Dardanelles, the Aegean and Mediterranean seas.

Most of the shores of the strait are heavily settled, straddled by the city of Istanbul's metropolitan population of 17 million inhabitants extending inland from both coasts.

Together with the Dardanelles, the Bosporus forms the Turkish Straits.

Continental Divide of the Americas

The Continental Divide of the Americas (also known as the Great Divide, the Western Divide or simply the Continental Divide) is the principal, and largely mountainous, hydrological divide of the Americas. The Continental Divide extends from the Bering Strait to the Strait of Magellan, and separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean from those river systems that drain into the Atlantic Ocean (including those that drain into the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea) and, along the northernmost reaches of the Divide, those river systems that drain into the Arctic Ocean.

Although there are a many other hydrological divides in the Americas, the Continental Divide is by far the most prominent of these because it tends to follow a line of high peaks along the main ranges of the Rocky Mountains and Andes, at a generally much higher elevation than the other hydrological divisions.

Cross-Strait relations

Cross-Strait relations, Mainland–Taiwan relations, or Taiwan–China relations refer to the relationship between the following two political entities, which are separated by the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean:

the People's Republic of China (PRC), commonly known as "China"

the Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as "Taiwan"Their relationship is complex and controversial due to the dispute on the political status of Taiwan after the administration of Taiwan was transferred from Japan at the end of World War II in 1945 and the subsequent split of China into the above two in 1949 as a result of civil war, and hinges on the key questions of 1)whether the two entities are two separate countries (either as "Taiwan" and "China" or Two Chinas: "Republic of China" and "People's Republic of China"), or two "regions" or parts of the same country (i.e. "One China") that were split by civil war with rivaling governments, and 2)whether the transfer of Taiwan to Republic of China was legal in the first place when Japan was forced to give up Taiwan in the aftermath of losing World War II.

In 1949, with the Chinese Civil War turning decisively in favour of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Republic of China (ROC) government led by the Kuomintang (KMT) retreated to Taiwan and established the provisional capital in Taipei, while the CPC proclaimed the People's Republic of China (PRC) government in Beijing.

Since then, the relations between the governments in Beijing and Taipei have been characterized by limited contact, tensions, and instability, due to the fact that the Civil War merely stopped without formal signing of any peace treaty and the two sides are technically still in a state of war. In the early years, military conflicts continued, while diplomatically both governments competed to be the "legitimate government of China". More recently, questions around the political and legal status of Taiwan have focused on the alternative prospects of political unification with mainland China or full Taiwanese independence. The People's Republic remains hostile to any formal declaration of independence and maintains its claim over Taiwan. At the same time, non-governmental and semi-governmental exchanges between the two sides have been increasing. From 2008, negotiations began to restore the "Three Links" (transportation, commerce, and communications) between the two sides, cut off since 1949. Party-to-party talks between the CPC and the KMT have resumed and semi-official negotiations through organizations representing the interests of their respective governments are being scheduled.

The English expression "cross-Strait relations" has been used by the two sides concerned and by many observers so that the relationship would not be referred to as "(Mainland) China–Taiwan relations" or "PRC–ROC relations", due to the dispute on the nature of their relationship and each party's "correct" names. There is also no commonly used Chinese language phrase equivalent to the latter two phrases, although Mainland–Taiwan relations and China–Taiwan relations are occasionally used.

Dardanelles

The Dardanelles (; Turkish: Çanakkale Boğazı, Greek: Δαρδανέλλια, romanized: Dardanellia), also known from Classical Antiquity as the Hellespont

(; Greek: Ἑλλήσποντος, Hellespontos, literally "Sea of Helle"), is a narrow, natural strait and internationally significant waterway in northwestern Turkey that forms part of the continental boundary between Europe and Asia, and separates Asian Turkey from European Turkey. One of the world's narrowest straits used for international navigation, the Dardanelles connects the Sea of Marmara with the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, while also allowing passage to the Black Sea by extension via the Bosphorus. The Dardanelles is 61 kilometres (38 mi) long, and 1.2 to 6 kilometres (0.75 to 3.73 mi) wide, averaging 55 metres (180 ft) deep with a maximum depth of 103 metres (338 ft) at its narrowest point abreast the city of Çanakkale.

Most of the northern shores of the strait along the Gallipoli Peninsula (Turkish: Gelibolu) are sparsely settled, while the southern shores along the Troad Peninsula (Turkish: Biga) are inhabited by the city of Çanakkale's urban population of 110,000.

Together with the Bosphorus, the Dardanelles forms the Turkish Straits.

Endeavour Strait

The Endeavour Strait is a strait running between the Australian mainland Cape York Peninsula and Prince of Wales Island in the extreme south of the Torres Strait, in northern Queensland, Australia. It was named in 1770 by explorer James Cook, after his own vessel, HMS Endeavour, and he used the strait as passage out to the Indian Ocean on his voyage.

George Strait

George Harvey Strait Sr. (born May 18, 1952) is an American country music singer, songwriter, actor, and music producer. George Strait is known as the "King of Country" and is considered one of the most influential and popular recording artists of all time. He is known for his neotraditionalist country style, cowboy look, and being one of the first and main country artists to bring country music back to its roots and away from the pop country era in the 1980s.

Strait's success began when his first single "Unwound" was a hit in 1981. During the 1980s, seven of his albums reached number one on the country charts. In the 2000s, Strait was named Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music, was elected into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and won his first Grammy award for the album Troubadour. Strait was named CMA Entertainer of the Year in 1989, 1990 and 2013, and ACM Entertainer of the Year in 1990 and 2014. He has been nominated for more CMA and ACM awards and has more wins in both categories than any other artist.

By 2009, he broke Conway Twitty's previous record for the most number-one hits on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart when his 44 number one singles surpassed Twitty's 40. Counting all music charts, Strait has amassed a total of 60 number-one hits, breaking a record also previously set by Twitty, who had, giving him more number one songs than any other artist in any genre of music.Strait is also known for his touring career when he designed a 360-degree configuration and introduced festival style tours. For example, the Strait Tours earned $99 million in three years. His concert at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in June 2014 drew 104,793 people, marking a new record for largest indoor concert in North America.Strait has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. His certifications from the RIAA include 13 multi-platinum, 33 platinum, and 38 gold albums. His best-selling album is Pure Country (1992), which sold 6 million (6× platinum). His highest certified album is Strait Out of the Box (1995), which sold 2 million copies (8× Platinum due to being a box set with four CDs). According to the RIAA, Strait is the 12th best-selling album recording artist in the United States overall.

Gerlache Strait

Gerlache Strait or de Gerlache Strait or Détroit de la Belgica is a channel/strait separating the Palmer Archipelago from the Antarctic Peninsula. The Belgian Antarctic Expedition, under Lt. Adrien de Gerlache, explored the strait in January and February 1898, naming it for the expedition ship Belgica. The name was later changed to honor the commander himself.

Indigenous Australians

Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonisation. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous peoples on the continent and nearby islands is a matter of debate among researchers. The earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP.Although there are a number of commonalities between Indigenous Aboriginal Australians, there is also a great diversity among different Indigenous communities and societies in Australia, each with its own mixture of cultures, customs and languages. In present-day Australia these groups are further divided into local communities. At the time of initial European settlement, over 250 languages were spoken; it is currently estimated that 120 to 145 of these remain in use, but only 13 of these are not considered endangered. Aboriginal people today mostly speak English, with Aboriginal phrases and words being added to create Australian Aboriginal English (which also has a tangible influence of Indigenous languages in the phonology and grammatical structure). The population of Indigenous Australians at the time of permanent European settlement is contentious and has been estimated at between 318,000 and 1,000,000 with the distribution being similar to that of the current Australian population, the majority living in the south-east, centred along the Murray River. A population collapse principally from disease followed European settlement beginning with a smallpox epidemic spreading three years after the arrival of Europeans. Massacres and war by British settlers also contributed to depopulation. The characterisation of this violence as genocide is controversial and disputed.Since 1995, the Australian Aboriginal Flag and the Torres Strait Islander Flag have been among the official flags of Australia.

Strait of Georgia

The Strait of Georgia or the Georgia Strait is an arm of the Pacific Ocean between Vancouver Island and the extreme southwestern mainland coast of British Columbia, Canada and the extreme northwestern mainland coast of Washington, United States. It is approximately 240 kilometres (150 mi) long and varies in width from 20 to 58 kilometres (12 to 36 mi). Along with the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, it is a constituent part of the Salish Sea. Archipelagos and narrow channels mark each end of the Strait of Georgia, the Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands in the south, and the Discovery Islands in the north. The main channels to the south are Boundary Pass, Haro Strait and Rosario Strait, which connect the Strait of Georgia to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In the north, Discovery Passage is the main channel connecting the Strait of Georgia to Johnstone Strait. The strait is a major navigation channel on the west coast of North America, owing to the presence of the port of Vancouver, and also due to its role as the southern entrance to the intracoastal route known as the Inside Passage.

Strait of Gibraltar

The Strait of Gibraltar (Arabic: مضيق جبل طارق‎, romanized: Maḍīq Jabal Ṭāriq; Spanish: Estrecho de Gibraltar) is a narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Gibraltar and Peninsular Spain in Europe from Morocco and Ceuta (Spain) in Africa.

The two continents are separated by 14.3 kilometres (8.9 miles; 7.7 nautical miles) of ocean at the Strait's narrowest point. The Strait's depth ranges between 300 and 900 metres (980 and 2,950 feet; 160 and 490 fathoms) which possibly interacted with the lower mean sea level of the last major glaciation 20,000 years ago when the level of the sea is believed to have been lower by 110–120 m (360–390 ft; 60–66 fathoms). Ferries cross between the two continents every day in as little as 35 minutes. The Spanish side of the Strait is protected under El Estrecho Natural Park.

Strait of Hormuz

The Strait of Hormuz ( Persian: تنگه هرمز‎ Tangeh-ye Hormoz listen Arabic: مَضيق هُرمُز‎‎ Maḍīq Hurmuz ) is a strait between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. It provides the only sea passage from the Persian Gulf to the open ocean and is one of the world's most strategically important choke points. On the north coast lies Iran, and on the south coast the United Arab Emirates and Musandam, an exclave of Oman. The strait is about 90 nautical miles (167 km) long, with a width varying from about 52 nautical miles (96 km) to 21 nautical miles (39 km).A third of the world’s liquefied natural gas and almost 20% of total global oil consumption passes through the strait, making it a highly important strategic location for international trade.

Strait of Magellan

The Strait of Magellan (Spanish: Estrecho de Magallanes), also called the Straits of Magellan, is a navigable sea route in southern Chile separating mainland South America to the north and Tierra del Fuego to the south. The strait is the most important natural passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

The route is considered difficult to navigate due to frequent narrows and unpredictable winds and currents. Maritime piloting is now compulsory. The strait is shorter and more sheltered than the Drake Passage, the often stormy open sea route around Cape Horn. Along with the narrow and sometimes treacherous Beagle Channel and the seasonal and historically treacherous North West Passage, these were the only sea routes between the Atlantic and Pacific until the construction of the Panama Canal.

Strait of Malacca

The Strait of Malacca (Malay: Selat Melaka, Indonesian: Selat Malaka, Thai: ช่องแคบมะละกา, Tamil: மலாக்கா நீரிணை, Chinese: 马六甲海峡) or Straits of Malacca is a narrow, 550 mi (890 km) stretch of water between the Malay Peninsula (Peninsular Malaysia) and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. As the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, it is one of the most important shipping lanes in the world. It is named after the Malacca Sultanate that ruled over the archipelago between 1400 and 1511.

Taiwan Strait

The Taiwan Strait is a 180-kilometer (110 mi)-wide strait separating the island of Taiwan from mainland China. The strait is currently classified as part of the South China Sea and borders the East China Sea to the north. It is 130 km (81 mi) wide at its narrowest.

Torres Strait Islanders

Torres Strait Islanders (

) are the indigenous people of the Torres Strait Islands, part of Queensland, Australia. They are distinct from the Aboriginal people of the rest of Australia, and are generally referred to separately. There are also two Torres Strait Islander communities on the nearby coast of the mainland at Bamaga and Seisia.

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