Fjord
Overview
 
Geologically, a fjord (ˈ or ; also spelt fiord) is a long, narrow inlet
Inlet
An inlet is a narrow body of water between islands or leading inland from a larger body of water, often leading to an enclosed body of water, such as a sound, bay, lagoon or marsh. In sea coasts an inlet usually refers to the actual connection between a bay and the ocean and is often called an...

 with steep sides or cliffs, created in a valley carved by glacial activity
Glacier
A glacier is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. At least 0.1 km² in area and 50 m thick, but often much larger, a glacier slowly deforms and flows due to stresses induced by its weight...

.
A fjord is formed when a glacier cuts a U-shaped valley by abrasion
Abrasion (geology)
Abrasion is the mechanical scraping of a rock surface by friction between rocks and moving particles during their transport by wind, glacier, waves, gravity, running water or erosion. After friction, the moving particles dislodge loose and weak debris from the side of the rock...

 of the surrounding bedrock. Glacial melting is accompanied by rebound of Earth's crust as the ice load and eroded sediment is removed (also called isostasy
Isostasy
Isostasy is a term used in geology to refer to the state of gravitational equilibrium between the earth's lithosphere and asthenosphere such that the tectonic plates "float" at an elevation which depends on their thickness and density. This concept is invoked to explain how different topographic...

 or glacial rebound). In some cases this rebound is faster than sea level rise.
Encyclopedia
Geologically, a fjord (ˈ or ; also spelt fiord) is a long, narrow inlet
Inlet
An inlet is a narrow body of water between islands or leading inland from a larger body of water, often leading to an enclosed body of water, such as a sound, bay, lagoon or marsh. In sea coasts an inlet usually refers to the actual connection between a bay and the ocean and is often called an...

 with steep sides or cliffs, created in a valley carved by glacial activity
Glacier
A glacier is a large persistent body of ice that forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. At least 0.1 km² in area and 50 m thick, but often much larger, a glacier slowly deforms and flows due to stresses induced by its weight...

.

Formation

A fjord is formed when a glacier cuts a U-shaped valley by abrasion
Abrasion (geology)
Abrasion is the mechanical scraping of a rock surface by friction between rocks and moving particles during their transport by wind, glacier, waves, gravity, running water or erosion. After friction, the moving particles dislodge loose and weak debris from the side of the rock...

 of the surrounding bedrock. Glacial melting is accompanied by rebound of Earth's crust as the ice load and eroded sediment is removed (also called isostasy
Isostasy
Isostasy is a term used in geology to refer to the state of gravitational equilibrium between the earth's lithosphere and asthenosphere such that the tectonic plates "float" at an elevation which depends on their thickness and density. This concept is invoked to explain how different topographic...

 or glacial rebound). In some cases this rebound is faster than sea level rise. Most fjords are deeper than the adjacent sea
Overdeepening
Overdeepening is a characteristic of basins and valleys eroded by glaciers. An overdeepened valley profile is often eroded to depths which are hundreds of metres below the deepest continuous line along a valley or watercourse...

; Sognefjord
Sognefjord
The Sognefjord is the largest fjord in Norway, and the second longest in the world. Located in Sogn og Fjordane county, it stretches inland to the small village of Skjolden...

, Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, reaches as much as 1300 m (4,265 ft) below sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

. Fjords generally have a sill
Sill (geology)
In geology, a sill is a tabular sheet intrusion that has intruded between older layers of sedimentary rock, beds of volcanic lava or tuff, or even along the direction of foliation in metamorphic rock. The term sill is synonymous with concordant intrusive sheet...

 or rise at their mouth caused by the previous glacier's terminal moraine
Terminal moraine
A terminal moraine, also called end moraine, is a moraine that forms at the end of the glacier called the snout.Terminal moraines mark the maximum advance of the glacier. An end moraine is at the present boundary of the glacier....

, in many cases causing extreme currents and large saltwater rapids (see skookumchuck
Skookumchuck
Skookumchuck is a word in the Chinook Jargon that is in common use in British Columbia English and occurs in Pacific Northwest English. Skookum means "strong" or "powerful", and "chuck" means water, so skookumchuck means "rapids" or "whitewater"...

). Saltstraumen
Saltstraumen
Saltstraumen is a sound with a strong tidal current located in Nordland 30 km east of the city of Bodø, Norway. The narrow channel connects the outer Saltfjord with its extension, the large Skjerstadfjord. It is the strongest tidal current in the world...

 in Norway is often described as the world's strongest tidal current. These characteristics distinguish fjords from ria
Ria
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...

s (e.g. the Bay of Kotor
Bay of Kotor
The Bay of Kotor in south-western Montenegro is a winding bay on the Adriatic Sea. The bay, sometimes called Europe's southernmost fjord, is in fact a submerged river canyon of the disintegrated Bokelj River which used to run from the high mountain plateaus of Mount Orjen...

), which are drowned valleys flooded by the rising sea.

Coral reefs

As late as 2000, some coral reef
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

s were discovered along the bottoms of the Norwegian fjords. These reefs were found in fjords from the north of Norway to the south. The marine life on the reefs is believed to be one of the most important reasons why the Norwegian coastline is such a generous fishing ground. Since this discovery is fairly new, little research has been done. The reefs are host to thousands of lifeforms such as plankton
Plankton
Plankton are any drifting organisms that inhabit the pelagic zone of oceans, seas, or bodies of fresh water. That is, plankton are defined by their ecological niche rather than phylogenetic or taxonomic classification...

, coral
Coral
Corals are marine animals in class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria typically living in compact colonies of many identical individual "polyps". The group includes the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans and secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton.A coral "head" is a colony of...

, anemones
Sea anemone
Sea anemones are a group of water-dwelling, predatory animals of the order Actiniaria; they are named after the anemone, a terrestrial flower. Sea anemones are classified in the phylum Cnidaria, class Anthozoa, subclass Zoantharia. Anthozoa often have large polyps that allow for digestion of larger...

, fish, several species of shark, and many more. Most are specially adapted to life under the greater pressure of the water column above it, and the total darkness of the deep sea.

New Zealand's fjords are also host to deep sea corals, but a surface layer of dark fresh water allows these corals to grow in much shallower water than usual. An underwater observatory in Milford Sound
Milford Sound
Milford Sound is a fjord in the south west of New Zealand's South Island, within Fiordland National Park, Piopiotahi Marine Reserve, and the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage site...

 allows tourists to view them without diving.

Skerries

In some places near the seaward margins of areas with fjords, the ice-scoured channels are so numerous and varied in direction that the rocky coast is divided into thousands of island blocks, some large and mountainous while others are merely rocky points or rock reef
Reef
In nautical terminology, a reef is a rock, sandbar, or other feature lying beneath the surface of the water ....

s, menacing navigation. These are called skerries
Skerry
A skerry is a small rocky island, usually defined to be too small for habitation. It may simply be a rocky reef. A skerry can also be called a low sea stack....

. The term skerry is derived from the Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 sker, which means a rock in the sea.

Skerries most commonly formed at the outlet of fjords where submerged glacially formed valleys perpendicular to the coast join with other cross valleys in a complex array. The island fringe of Norway is such a group of skerries (called a skjærgård); many of the cross fjords are so arranged that they parallel the coast and provide a protected channel behind an almost unbroken succession of mountainous islands and skerries. By this channel one can travel through a protected passage almost the entire 1601 km (995 mi) route from Stavanger
Stavanger
Stavanger is a city and municipality in the county of Rogaland, Norway.Stavanger municipality has a population of 126,469. There are 197,852 people living in the Stavanger conurbation, making Stavanger the fourth largest city, but the third largest urban area, in Norway...

 to North Cape
North Cape, Norway
North Cape is a cape on the island of Magerøya in Northern Norway, in the municipality of Nordkapp. Its 307 m high, steep cliff is often referred to as the northernmost point of Europe, located at , 2102.3 km from the North Pole. However, the neighbouring point Knivskjellodden is actually...

, Norway. The Blindleia
Blindleia
Blindleia is an long inland waterway in the municipality of Lillesand in Aust-Agder county, Norway. It starts in the Gamle Hellesund or Ulvøysund areas in southern Høvåg in the southwest and it continues northeast past the city of Lillesand. It is a salt water fjord passage that is protected...

 is a skerry-protected waterway that starts near Kristiansand
Kristiansand
-History:As indicated by archeological findings in the city, the Kristiansand area has been settled at least since 400 AD. A royal farm is known to have been situated on Oddernes as early as 800, and the first church was built around 1040...

 in southern Norway, and continues past Lillesand
Lillesand
is a town and municipality in Aust-Agder county, Norway. It is part of the traditional district of Sørlandet. The administrative center of the municipality is the town of Lillesand.-General information:...

. The Swedish
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 coast along Bohuslän
Bohuslän
' is a Swedish traditional province, or landskap, situated in Götaland on the northernmost part of the country's west coast. It is bordered by Dalsland to the northeast, Västergötland to the southeast, the Skagerrak arm of the North Sea to the west, and the county of Østfold in Norway to the north...

 is likewise skerry guarded. The Inside Passage
Inside Passage
The Inside Passage is a coastal route for oceangoing vessels along a network of passages which weave through the islands on the Pacific coast of North America. The route extends from southeastern Alaska, in the United States, through western British Columbia, in Canada, to northwestern Washington...

 provides a similar route from Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver
Vancouver
Vancouver is a coastal seaport city on the mainland of British Columbia, Canada. It is the hub of Greater Vancouver, which, with over 2.3 million residents, is the third most populous metropolitan area in the country,...

, British Columbia
British Columbia
British Columbia is the westernmost of Canada's provinces and is known for its natural beauty, as reflected in its Latin motto, Splendor sine occasu . Its name was chosen by Queen Victoria in 1858...

, to Skagway
Skagway, Alaska
Skagway is a first-class borough in Alaska, on the Alaska Panhandle. It was formerly a city first incorporated in 1900 that was re-incorporated as a borough on June 25, 2007. As of the 2000 census, the population of the city was 862...

, Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

. Yet another such skerry protected passage extends from the Straits of Magellan north for 800 km (497.1 mi).

Etymology

With Indo European
Proto-Indo-European language
The Proto-Indo-European language is the reconstructed common ancestor of the Indo-European languages, spoken by the Proto-Indo-Europeans...

 origin (*prtús from *por- or *per) in the verb
Verb
A verb, from the Latin verbum meaning word, is a word that in syntax conveys an action , or a state of being . In the usual description of English, the basic form, with or without the particle to, is the infinitive...

 fara (travelling/ferrying), the Norse noun
Noun
In linguistics, a noun is a member of a large, open lexical category whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition .Lexical categories are defined in terms of how their members combine with other kinds of...

 substantive fjǫrðr means a "lake
Lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

-like" waterbody
Body of water
A body of water or waterbody is any significant accumulation of water, usually covering the Earth or another planet. The term body of water most often refers to large accumulations of water, such as oceans, seas, and lakes, but it may also include smaller pools of water such as ponds, puddles or...

 used for passage and ferrying.

The Scandinavian fjord, Proto-Scandinavian *ferþuz, is the origin for similar Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an words: Icelandic
Icelandic language
Icelandic is a North Germanic language, the main language of Iceland. Its closest relative is Faroese.Icelandic is an Indo-European language belonging to the North Germanic or Nordic branch of the Germanic languages. Historically, it was the westernmost of the Indo-European languages prior to the...

 fjörður, Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

 fjärd (for Baltic waterbodies), Scottish firth
Firth
Firth is the word in the Lowland Scots language and in English used to denote various coastal waters in Scotland and England. In mainland Scotland it is used to describe a large sea bay, or even a strait. In the Northern Isles it more usually refers to a smaller inlet...

. The Danish even use fjord for shallow lagoons as well as minor bodies of water cut into land; compare Scottish loch
Loch
Loch is the Irish and Scottish Gaelic word for a lake or a sea inlet. It has been anglicised as lough, although this is pronounced the same way as loch. Some lochs could also be called a firth, fjord, estuary, strait or bay...

. The Germans call the narrow long bays of Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the sixteen states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig...

 Förde but the Norwegian bays Fjord. The word is also related to English ford
Ford (crossing)
A ford is a shallow place with good footing where a river or stream may be crossed by wading or in a vehicle. A ford is mostly a natural phenomenon, in contrast to a low water crossing, which is an artificial bridge that allows crossing a river or stream when water is low.The names of many towns...

(in German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 Furt, Low German
Low German
Low German or Low Saxon is an Ingvaeonic West Germanic language spoken mainly in northern Germany and the eastern part of the Netherlands...

 Ford or Vörde, in Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 names voorde, cf. Vilvoorde), Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 poros, and Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 portus. Fjord/firth/Förde as well as ford/Furt/Vörde/voorde refer to a Germanic verb for to travel: Swedish fara, Dutch varen, German fahren; English to fare has lost that meaning. The one geographic object is a waterbody that allows the traveller to enter the land by boat, the other one is the shallow site in a waterbody that allows the traveller to cross the water on foot, horse or wheels.

As a loanword
Loanword
A loanword is a word borrowed from a donor language and incorporated into a recipient language. By contrast, a calque or loan translation is a related concept where the meaning or idiom is borrowed rather than the lexical item itself. The word loanword is itself a calque of the German Lehnwort,...

 from Norwegian
Norwegian language
Norwegian is a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Norway, where it is the official language. Together with Swedish and Danish, Norwegian forms a continuum of more or less mutually intelligible local and regional variants .These Scandinavian languages together with the Faroese language...

, it is one of the few words in the English language to start with the digraph
Digraph (orthography)
A digraph or digram is a pair of characters used to write one phoneme or a sequence of phonemes that does not correspond to the normal values of the two characters combined...

 fj, although the word was for a long time normally rendered fiord, a spelling preserved in place names such as Grise Fiord, but now generally only current in New Zealand English
New Zealand English
New Zealand English is the dialect of the English language used in New Zealand.The English language was established in New Zealand by colonists during the 19th century. It is one of "the newest native-speaker variet[ies] of the English language in existence, a variety which has developed and...

.

Scandinavian usage

Use of the word fjord (including the eastern Scandinavian form fjärd) is more general in the Scandinavian languages than in English. In Scandinavia, fjord is used for a narrow inlet of the sea in Norway, Denmark and western Sweden, but this is not its only application. In Norway, the usage is closest to the Old Norse, with fjord used for both a firth and for a long, narrow inlet. In eastern Norway, the term is also applied to long narrow freshwater lakes (for instance Mjøsa
Mjøsa
Mjøsa is Norway's largest lake, as well as one of the deepest lakes in Norway and in Europe as a whole, after Hornindalsvatnet. It is located in the southern part of Norway, about 100 km north of Oslo...

 [commonly referred to as fjorden], Randsfjorden
Randsfjorden
Randsfjorden is Norway's fourth largest lake with an area of . Its volume is estimated at just over , and its greatest depth is . The lake is above sea level....

 and Tyrifjorden
Tyrifjorden
Tyrifjorden is Norway's fifth largest lake with an area of 137 km2. It has a volume of 13 km3, is 295 meters deep at its deepest, and lies 63 meters above sea level...

) and sometimes even to rivers (in local usage, for instance in Flå
Flå
Flå is a municipality in Buskerud county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Flå. The municipality of Flå was established when it was separated from the municipality of Nes on 1 January 1905...

 in Hallingdal
Hallingdal
Hallingdal is a valley and traditional district in Buskerud county in Norway. It consists of the municipalities of Flå, Nes, Gol, Hemsedal, Ål and Hol.-History:Ancient routes went to Vestlandet through Valdres and Hallingdal and down Røldal to Odda...

, the Hallingdal river is referred to as fjorden). In east Sweden, the name fjärd is used in a synonymous manner for bays, bights
Bight (geography)
In geography, bight has two meanings. A bight can be simply a bend or curve in any geographical feature—usually a bend or curve in the line between land and water....

 and narrow inlets on the Swedish Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 coast, and in most Swedish lakes. This latter term is also used for bodies of water off the coast of Finland where Finland Swedish is spoken. In Danish, the word may even apply to shallow lagoon
Lagoon
A lagoon is a body of shallow sea water or brackish water separated from the sea by some form of barrier. The EU's habitat directive defines lagoons as "expanses of shallow coastal salt water, of varying salinity or water volume, wholly or partially separated from the sea by sand banks or shingle,...

s. In modern Icelandic, fjörður is still used with the broader meaning of firth or inlet. In the Finnish language
Finnish language
Finnish is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland Primarily for use by restaurant menus and by ethnic Finns outside Finland. It is one of the two official languages of Finland and an official minority language in Sweden. In Sweden, both standard Finnish and Meänkieli, a...

, a word vuono is used although there is only one fjord in Finland. Small waterfalls within these fjords are also used as freshwater resources for the people of Scandinavia, In particular, Norway.

The German use of the word Förde for long narrow bays on their Baltic Sea coastline, indicates a common Germanic
Germanic languages
The Germanic languages constitute a sub-branch of the Indo-European language family. The common ancestor of all of the languages in this branch is called Proto-Germanic , which was spoken in approximately the mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age northern Europe...

 origin of the word. The landscape consists mainly of moraine heaps. The "Förden" and some "fjords" on the east side of Denmark are also of glacial origin. But while the glaciers digging "real" fjords moved from the mountains to the sea, in Denmark and Germany they were tongues of a huge glacier covering the basin of which is now the Baltic Sea. See Förden and East Jutland Fjorde
Förden and East Jutland Fjorde
On the eastern coast of the Jutland Peninsula, consisting of Danish Jutland and German Schleswig-Holstein, there is a special type of narrow bay called Förde in German and fjord in Danish...

.

Whereas fjord names mostly describe bays (though not always geological fjords), strait
Strait
A strait or straits is a narrow, typically navigable channel of water that connects two larger, navigable bodies of water. It most commonly refers to a channel of water that lies between two land masses, but it may also refer to a navigable channel through a body of water that is otherwise not...

s in the same regions typically are named Sund, in Scandinavian languages as well as in German. The word is related to "to sunder" in the meaning of "to separate". So the use of Sound
Sound (geography)
In geography a sound or seaway is a large sea or ocean inlet larger than a bay, deeper than a bight and wider than a fjord; or it may be defined as a narrow sea or ocean channel between two bodies of land ....

to name fjords in North America and New Zealand differs from the European meaning of that word.

The name of Wexford
Wexford
Wexford is the county town of County Wexford, Ireland. It is situated near the southeastern corner of Ireland, close to Rosslare Europort. The town is connected to Dublin via the M11/N11 National Primary Route, and the national rail network...

 in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 is originally derived from Veisafjǫrðr ("inlet of the mud flats") in Old Norse, as used by the Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 settlers — though the inlet at that place in modern terms is an estuary
Estuary
An estuary is a partly enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea....

, not a fjord.

False fjords

The differences in usage between the English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and the Scandinavian languages
North Germanic languages
The North Germanic languages or Scandinavian languages, the languages of Scandinavians, make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages, a sub-family of the Indo-European languages, along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East Germanic languages...

 have contributed to confusion in the use of the term fjord. Bodies of water that are clearly fjords in Scandinavian languages are not considered fjords in English; similarly bodies of water that would clearly not be fjords in the Scandinavian sense have been named or suggested to be fjords. Examples of this confused usage follow.

The Bay of Kotor
Bay of Kotor
The Bay of Kotor in south-western Montenegro is a winding bay on the Adriatic Sea. The bay, sometimes called Europe's southernmost fjord, is in fact a submerged river canyon of the disintegrated Bokelj River which used to run from the high mountain plateaus of Mount Orjen...

 in Montenegro
Montenegro
Montenegro Montenegrin: Crna Gora Црна Гора , meaning "Black Mountain") is a country located in Southeastern Europe. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the south-west and is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the northeast and Albania to the...

 has been suggested by some to be a fjord, but is in fact a drowned river canyon or ria
Ria
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...

. Similarly the Lim
Lim (Croatia)
The Lim bay and valley is a peculiar geographic feature found near Rovinj and Vrsar on the western coast of Istria, south of Poreč, Croatia. The name comes from the Latin limes for "limit", referring to the landform's position at the border of two Roman provinces: Dalmatia and Italia.-Geography:The...

 bay in Istria
Istria
Istria , formerly Histria , is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Bay of Kvarner...

, Croatia
Croatia
Croatia , officially the Republic of Croatia , is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Europe at the crossroads of the Mitteleuropa, the Balkans, and the Mediterranean. Its capital and largest city is Zagreb. The country is divided into 20 counties and the city of Zagreb. Croatia covers ...

, is sometimes called "Lim fjord" although it is not actually a fjord carved by glacial erosion but instead a ria dug by the river Pazinčica. The Croats
Croats
Croats are a South Slavic ethnic group mostly living in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and nearby countries. There are around 4 million Croats living inside Croatia and up to 4.5 million throughout the rest of the world. Responding to political, social and economic pressure, many Croats have...

 call it Limski kanal, which does not translate precisely to the English equivalent either.

In the Danish language
Danish language
Danish is a North Germanic language spoken by around six million people, principally in the country of Denmark. It is also spoken by 50,000 Germans of Danish ethnicity in the northern parts of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, where it holds the status of minority language...

 any inlet is called a fjord, but none of the "fjords" of Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 may be considered a fjord in the geological sense. Limfjord
Limfjord
The Limfjord is a shallow sound in Denmark that separates the island of Vendsyssel-Thy from the rest of the Jutland Peninsula. It extends from Thyborøn Channel on the North Sea to Hals on the Kattegat. It is approximately 180 kilometres long and of an irregular shape with several bays, narrowings,...

 in English terminology is a channel
Channel (geography)
In physical geography, a channel is the physical confine of a river, slough or ocean strait consisting of a bed and banks.A channel is also the natural or human-made deeper course through a reef, sand bar, bay, or any shallow body of water...

, since it separates the North Jutlandic Island (Vendsyssel-Thy) from the rest of Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

. Ringkøbing Fjord
Ringkøbing Fjord
Ringkøbing Fjord, despite its name, is in fact a shallow lagoon in the west of Jutland that is shielded from the North Sea by the long isthmus of Holmsland Dunes. On the Hvide Sande Canal in the middle of the isthmus, there is a floodgate that provides access to the sea to the west. The fjord is...

 on the western coast of Jutland
Jutland
Jutland , historically also called Cimbria, is the name of the peninsula that juts out in Northern Europe toward the rest of Scandinavia, forming the mainland part of Denmark. It has the North Sea to its west, Kattegat and Skagerrak to its north, the Baltic Sea to its east, and the Danish–German...

 is a lagoon
Lagoon
A lagoon is a body of shallow sea water or brackish water separated from the sea by some form of barrier. The EU's habitat directive defines lagoons as "expanses of shallow coastal salt water, of varying salinity or water volume, wholly or partially separated from the sea by sand banks or shingle,...

. The long narrow "fjords" of Denmark's Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 coast like the German Förde
Forde
Forde as a surname may refer to:* Brinsley Forde , Guyanan actor and musician* David Forde , Irish football player* Eugenie Forde , American silent film actress* Evan Forde , American oceanographer...

n were dug by ice moving from the sea upon land, while fjords in the geological sense were dug by ice moving from the mountains down to the sea.

The fjords in Finnmark
Finnmark
or Finnmárku is a county in the extreme northeast of Norway. By land it borders Troms county to the west, Finland to the south and Russia to the east, and by water, the Norwegian Sea to the northwest, and the Barents Sea to the north and northeast.The county was formerly known as Finmarkens...

 (Norway), which are fjords in the Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

n sense of the term, are considered by some to be false fjords. Although glacially formed, most Finnmark fjords lack the classic hallmark steep-sided valleys of the more southerly Norwegian fjords since the glacial pack was deep enough to cover even the high grounds when they were formed. The Oslofjord
Oslofjord
The Oslofjord is a bay in the south-east of Norway, stretching from an imaginary line between the Torbjørnskjær and Færder lighthouses and down to Langesund in the south to Oslo in the north....

 on the other hand is a rift valley, and not glacially formed.

In Acapulco
Acapulco
Acapulco is a city, municipality and major sea port in the state of Guerrero on the Pacific coast of Mexico, southwest from Mexico City. Acapulco is located on a deep, semi-circular bay and has been a port since the early colonial period of Mexico’s history...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, the calanque
Calanque
A calanque is a steep-walled inlet, cove, or bay that is developed in limestone, dolomite, or other carbonate strata and found along the Mediterranean coast...

s—narrow, rocky inlets—on the western side of the city, where the famous cliff-divers perform daily, are described in the city's tourist literature as being fjords.

Freshwater fjords

Some Norwegian freshwater lakes that have formed in long glacially carved valleys with terminal moraine
Moraine
A moraine is any glacially formed accumulation of unconsolidated glacial debris which can occur in currently glaciated and formerly glaciated regions, such as those areas acted upon by a past glacial maximum. This debris may have been plucked off a valley floor as a glacier advanced or it may have...

s blocking the outlet follow the Norwegian naming convention; they are named fjords. Outside of Norway, the three western arms of New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

's Lake Te Anau
Lake Te Anau
Lake Te Anau is in the southwestern corner of the South Island of New Zealand. Its name was originally Te Ana-au, Maori for 'The cave of swirling water'. The lake covers an area of 344 km², making it the second-largest lake by surface area in New Zealand and the largest in the South Island...

 are named North Fiord, Middle Fiord and South Fiord. Another freshwater "fjord" in a larger lake is Baie Fine, located on the northeastern coast of Georgian Bay
Georgian Bay
Georgian Bay is a large bay of Lake Huron, located entirely within Ontario, Canada...

 of Lake Huron
Lake Huron
Lake Huron is one of the five Great Lakes of North America. Hydrologically, it comprises the larger portion of Lake Michigan-Huron. It is bounded on the east by the Canadian province of Ontario and on the west by the state of Michigan in the United States...

 in Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

. Western Brook Pond
Western Brook Pond
The Western Brook Pond is a Canadian fjord or lake located in Gros Morne National Park on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland. It is in the Long Range Mountains, the most northern section of the Appalachian Mountains....

, in Newfoundland's
Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

 Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park
Gros Morne National Park is a world heritage site located on the west coast of Newfoundland. At , it is the second largest national park in Atlantic Canada ....

, is also often described as a fjord, but is actually a freshwater lake cut off from the sea, so is not a fjord in the English sense of the term. Such lakes are sometimes called "fjord lakes". Okanagan Lake
Okanagan Lake
Okanagan Lake is a large, deep lake in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. The lake is 135 km long, between 4 and 5 km wide, and has a surface area of 351 km². The lake's maximum depth is 232 meters near Grant Island...

 was the first North American lake to be so described, in 1962. The bedrock there has been eroded up to 650 m (2,133 ft) below sea level, which is 2000 m (6,562 ft) below the surrounding regional topography. Fjord lakes are common on the inland lea of the Coast Mountains
Coast Mountains
The Coast Mountains are a major mountain range, in the Pacific Coast Ranges, of western North America, extending from southwestern Yukon through the Alaska Panhandle and virtually all of the Coast of British Columbia. They are so-named because of their proximity to the sea coast, and are often...

 and Cascade Range
Cascade Range
The Cascade Range is a major mountain range of western North America, extending from southern British Columbia through Washington and Oregon to Northern California. It includes both non-volcanic mountains, such as the North Cascades, and the notable volcanoes known as the High Cascades...

; notable ones include Lake Chelan
Lake Chelan
Lake Chelan is a narrow, 55-mile-long lake in Chelan County, northern Washington state, U.S. It is the largest natural lake in Washington state...

, Seton Lake
Seton Lake
Seton Lake is a freshwater fjord draining east via the Seton River into the Fraser River at the town of Lillooet, British Columbia, about 22 km long and 243 m in elevation and 26.2 square kilometres in area...

, Chilko Lake
Chilko Lake
Chilko Lake is a 180 km² lake in west-central British Columbia, at the head of the Chilko River on the Chilcotin Plateau. The lake is about 65 km long, with a southwest arm 10 km long. It is one of the largest lakes by volume in the province because of its great depth, and the...

, and Atlin Lake
Atlin Lake
Atlin Lake is a lake in northwestern British Columbia and is that province's largest natural lake. The northern tip of the lake is in the Yukon, as is Little Atlin Lake. However, most of the lake lies within the Atlin District of British Columbia...

. Kootenay Lake
Kootenay Lake
Kootenay Lake is a lake located in British Columbia, Canada and is part of theKootenay River. The lake has been raised by the Corra Linn Dam and has a dike system at the southern end, which, along with industry in the 1950s-70s, has changed the ecosystem in and around the water...

, Slocan Lake
Slocan Lake
Slocan Lake is a lake in the Slocan Country of the West Kootenay region of the Southeastern Interior of British Columbia, Canada. it is drained by the Slocan River, which flows south from the lake's foot at Slocan City through the Slocan Valley to South Slocan, British Columbia, where that river...

 and others in the basin of the Columbia River
Columbia River
The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. The river rises in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, flows northwest and then south into the U.S. state of Washington, then turns west to form most of the border between Washington and the state...

 are also fjord-like in nature, and created by glaciation in the same way. Along the British Columbia Coast
British Columbia Coast
The British Columbia Coast or BC Coast is Canada's western continental coastline on the Pacific Ocean. The usage is synonymous with the term West Coast of Canada....

, a notable fjord-lake is Owikeno Lake
Owikeno Lake
Owikeno Lake, also Owekeeno Lake, Owekano Lake, Oweekayno Lake and other spellings , is a large fjord lake in the Central Coast region of British Columbia, Canada. It connects to the head of Rivers Inlet by the short Wannock River...

, which is a freshwater extension of Rivers Inlet
Rivers Inlet
Rivers Inlet is a fjord in the Central Coast region of the Canadian province of British Columbia, its entrance from the Dean Channel near that fjord's mouth, about southwest of the community of Bella Coola and about north of the northern tip of Vancouver Island and the western entrance of the...

. Quesnel Lake
Quesnel Lake
Quesnel Lake is a glacial lake or fjord in British Columbia, Canada, and is the origin of the Quesnel River. With a maximum depth of 610 meters , it is the deepest lake in British Columbia, though not the deepest lake in Canada, as is often claimed. That distinction belongs to Great Slave Lake...

, located in central British Columbia, is claimed to be the deepest fjord formed lake on earth. Another area notable for fjord lakes is northern Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 and southern Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

: Lake Como
Lake Como
Lake Como is a lake of glacial origin in Lombardy, Italy. It has an area of 146 km², making it the third largest lake in Italy, after Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore...

 and its neighbours.

Locations

The principal mountainous regions where fjords have formed are in the higher middle latitudes
Middle latitudes
The middle latitudes are between 23°26'22" North and 66°33'39" North, and between 23°26'22" South and 66°33'39" South latitude, or, the Earth's temperate zones between the tropics and the Arctic and Antarctic. The prevailing winds in the middle latitudes are often very strong...

 and the high latitudes reaching to 80°N (Svalbard, Greenland), where, during the glacial period, many valley glaciers descended to the then-lower sea level. The fjords develop best in mountain ranges against which the prevailing westerly
Westerlies
The Westerlies, anti-trades, or Prevailing Westerlies, are the prevailing winds in the middle latitudes between 30 and 60 degrees latitude, blowing from the high pressure area in the horse latitudes towards the poles. These prevailing winds blow from the west to the east, and steer extratropical...

 marine winds are orographically lifted
Orographic lift
Orographic lift occurs when an air mass is forced from a low elevation to a higher elevation as it moves over rising terrain. As the air mass gains altitude it quickly cools down adiabatically, which can raise the relative humidity to 100% and create clouds and, under the right conditions,...

 over the mountainous regions, resulting in abundant snowfall to feed the glaciers. Hence coasts having the most pronounced fjords include the west coast of Europe, the west coast of North America from Puget Sound
Puget Sound
Puget Sound is a sound in the U.S. state of Washington. It is a complex estuarine system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and one minor connection to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean — Admiralty Inlet being the major connection and...

 to Alaska, the southwest coast of New Zealand, and the west and to south-western coasts of South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

, for example in Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

.

Principal glaciated regions

  • West coast of Europe
    • Faroe Islands
      Faroe Islands
      The Faroe Islands are an island group situated between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately halfway between Scotland and Iceland. The Faroe Islands are a self-governing territory within the Kingdom of Denmark, along with Denmark proper and Greenland...

    • Westfjords
      Westfjords
      The Westfjords or West Fjords is the name for the large peninsula in northwestern Iceland. It is connected to the rest of Iceland by a 7 km wide isthmus between Gilsfjörður and Bitrufjörður. The Westfjords are very mountainous; the coastline is heavily indented by dozens of fjords surrounded by...

       of Iceland
      Iceland
      Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

    • Eastfjords of Iceland
      Iceland
      Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

    • Norway
      Norway
      Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

      , including Svalbard
      Svalbard
      Svalbard is an archipelago in the Arctic, constituting the northernmost part of Norway. It is located north of mainland Europe, midway between mainland Norway and the North Pole. The group of islands range from 74° to 81° north latitude , and from 10° to 35° east longitude. Spitsbergen is the...

    • Kola Bay
      Kola Bay
      Kola Bay or Murmansk Fjord is a 57-km-long fjord of the Barents Sea that cuts into the northern part of the Kola Peninsula. It is up to 7 km wide and has a depth of 200 to 300 metres. The Tuloma and Kola Rivers discharge into the bay....

       in Russia
      Russia
      Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...


  • West coast of New Zealand
    • Fiordland
      Fiordland
      Fiordland is a geographic region of New Zealand that is situated on the south-western corner of the South Island, comprising the western-most third of Southland. Most of Fiordland is dominated by the steep sides of the snow-capped Southern Alps, deep lakes and its ocean-flooded, steep western valleys...

      , in the southwest of the South Island
      South Island
      The South Island is the larger of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the more populous North Island. It is bordered to the north by Cook Strait, to the west by the Tasman Sea, to the south and east by the Pacific Ocean...


  • Northwest coast of North America
    • Coast of Alaska, United States
      United States
      The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

      : Lynn Canal
      Lynn Canal
      Lynn Canal is an inlet into the mainland of southeast Alaska.Lynn Canal runs about from the inlets of the Chilkat River south to Chatham Strait and Stephens Passage...

      , Glacier Bay
      Glacier Bay
      Glacier Bay Basin in southeastern Alaska, United States, encompasses the Glacier Bay and surrounding mountains and glaciers, which was first proclaimed a U.S. National Monument on February 25, 1925 and which was later, on Dec...

      , etc.
    • British Columbia Coast, Canada
      Canada
      Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

      : from the Alaskan Border along the Portland Canal
      Portland Canal
      The Portland Canal is an arm of Portland Inlet, one of the principal inlets of the British Columbia Coast. It is approximately long. The Portland Canal forms part of the border between southeastern Alaska and British Columbia. The name of the entire inlet in the Nisga'a language is K'alii...

       to Indian Arm
      Indian Arm
      Indian Arm is a steep-sided glacial fjord adjacent to the city of Vancouver in southwestern British Columbia. Formed during the last Ice Age, it extends due north from Burrard Inlet, between the communities of Belcarra and the District of North Vancouver , then on into mountainous wilderness...

      ; Kingcome Inlet
      Kingcome Inlet
      Kingcome Inlet is one of the lesser principal fjords of the British Columbia Coast. It is sixth in sequence of the major saltwater fjords north from the 49th parallel north near Vancouver and similar in width to longer inlets such as Knight Inlet and Bute Inlet, but it is only 35 km in...

       is a typical West Coast fjord.
    • Hood Canal
      Hood Canal
      Hood Canal is a fjord forming the western lobe, and one of the four main basins, of Puget Sound in the state of Washington. Hood Canal is not a canal in the sense of being a man-made waterway—it is a natural waterway.-Geography:...

       in Washington, United States and various of the sidewaters of Puget Sound

  • Northeast coast of North America
    • Labrador: Saglek Fjord
      Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve
      Torngat Mountains National Park is a Canadian national park, located on the Labrador Peninsula at the northern tip of Newfoundland and Labrador.The park was established on 22 January 2005, making it the first national park to be created in Labrador...

      , Nachvak Fjord
      Nachvak, Newfoundland and Labrador
      Nachvak is a deep fiord in northern Labrador nearly 2 km wide and 20 km long. The fiord is divided in two arms on the western end called Tallek and Tasiuyak...

      , Hebron Fjord

  • Chile
    Chile
    Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

    • Zona Austral
      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 Southern Zone and the Chacao Channel to the north, the Pacific Ocean and Drake's Passage to the south and west, and the...

       and the Los Lagos Region
      Los Lagos Region
      Los Lagos Region is one of Chile's 15 regions, which are first order administrative divisions, and comprises four provinces: Chiloé, Llanquihue, Osorno and Palena. The region contains the country's second largest island, Chiloé, and the second largest lake, Llanquihue.Its capital is Puerto Montt;...

      , Chile
      Chile
      Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...


Other glaciated regions

Other regions have fjords, but many of these are less pronounced due to more limited exposure to westerly winds and less pronounced relief. Areas include:
  • Europe
    • Ireland (There are three examples of glacial fjords in Ireland: Lough Swilly
      Lough Swilly
      Lough Swilly in Ireland is a glacial fjord or sea inlet lying between the western side of the Inishowen Peninsula and the Fanad Peninsula, in County Donegal. Along with Carlingford Lough and Killary Harbour it is one of three known glacial fjords in Ireland....

      , Carlingford Lough
      Carlingford Lough
      Carlingford Lough is a glacial fjord or sea inlet that forms part of the border between Northern Ireland to the north and the Republic of Ireland to the south. On its northern shore is County Down and on its southern shore is County Louth...

       and Killary Harbour
      Killary Harbour
      Killary Harbour/An Caoláire Rua is a fjord located in the West of Ireland in the heart of Connemara which forms a natural border between counties Galway and Mayo. It is 16 kilometres long and in the centre over 45 metres deep...

      )
    • Scotland
      Scotland
      Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

       (where called firths, the Scots language
      Scots language
      Scots is the Germanic language variety spoken in Lowland Scotland and parts of Ulster . It is sometimes called Lowland Scots to distinguish it from Scottish Gaelic, the Celtic language variety spoken in most of the western Highlands and in the Hebrides.Since there are no universally accepted...

       cognate
      Cognate
      In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...

       of fjord; loch
      Loch
      Loch is the Irish and Scottish Gaelic word for a lake or a sea inlet. It has been anglicised as lough, although this is pronounced the same way as loch. Some lochs could also be called a firth, fjord, estuary, strait or bay...

      s or sea lochs)
    • the Gullmaren on the west coast of Sweden

  • North America
    • Canada:
      • Newfoundland: Facheux Bay
        Facheux Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador
        Facheux Bay was the location of a small fishing settlement of the same name. In 1901 it had a population of 47. The community was also called Fachier, Facheaux, and Fouche. Facheux Bay is a deep fjord that separates Eastern Head and Western Head of Hermitage Bay, Newfoundland, Canada. Facheux bay...

         and Bonne Bay
        Bonne Bay
        Bonne Bay is a bay in Newfoundland, Canada. It is located on the western side of Newfoundland and separates Great Northern Peninsula from the rest of the island. It is a part of Gros Morne National Park. Bonne Bay has a population of about 7000 people....

         in Gros Morne National Park
      • Quebec
        Quebec
        Quebec or is a province in east-central Canada. It is the only Canadian province with a predominantly French-speaking population and the only one whose sole official language is French at the provincial level....

        's Saguenay River
        Saguenay River
        The Saguenay River is a major river of Quebec, Canada.It drains Lac Saint-Jean in the Laurentian Highlands, leaving at Alma and running east, and passes the city of Saguenay. It drains into the Saint Lawrence River at Tadoussac....

         valley
      • the Canadian Arctic Archipelago
        Canadian Arctic Archipelago
        The Canadian Arctic Archipelago, also known as the Arctic Archipelago, is a Canadian archipelago north of the Canadian mainland in the Arctic...

        , particularly:
        • Ellesmere Island
          Ellesmere Island
          Ellesmere Island is part of the Qikiqtaaluk Region of the Canadian territory of Nunavut. Lying within the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, it is considered part of the Queen Elizabeth Islands, with Cape Columbia being the most northerly point of land in Canada...

        • Baffin Island
          Baffin Island
          Baffin Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut is the largest island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world. Its area is and its population is about 11,000...

    • Greenland
      Greenland
      Greenland is an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark, located between the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans, east of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Though physiographically a part of the continent of North America, Greenland has been politically and culturally associated with Europe for...

      • Scoresby Sund
        Scoresby Sund
        Scoresby Sund is an inlet system of the Greenland Sea on the eastern coast of Greenland. It has a tree-like structure, with a main body approximately long that branches into a system of fjords covering an area of about . The longest of these extends 340–350 km in from the coastline...

        , the largest fjords in the world
      • Søndre Strømfjord
        Søndre Strømfjord
        Søndre Strømfjord is an old Danish name for:* Kangerlussuaq, a settlement in western Greenland* Kangerlussuaq Fjord, a fjord in western Greenland...

         or Kangerlussuaq
        Kangerlussuaq
        Kangerlussuaq is a settlement in western Greenland in the Qeqqata municipality, located at the head of a fjord of the same name. It is Greenland's main air transport hub, being the site of Greenland's largest commercial airport....

      • Disko Island
        Disko Island
        Disko Island is a large island in Baffin Bay, off the west coast of Greenland. It has an area of , making it the second largest island of Greenland and one of the 100 largest islands in the world...

      • Ilulissat Icefjord
        Ilulissat Icefjord
        Ilulissat Icefjord is a fjord in western Greenland. Ilulissat Icefjord was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.- Geography :It runs west from the Greenland ice sheet to Disko Bay just south of Ilulissat town. At its eastern end is the Jakobshavn Isbræ glacier , the most productive...

        , the most productive ice fjord in the world.
    • United States
      • Somes Sound, Acadia National Park
        Acadia National Park
        Acadia National Park is a National Park located in the U.S. state of Maine. It reserves much of Mount Desert Island, and associated smaller islands, off the Atlantic coast...

        , Maine
      • Hudson River
        Hudson River
        The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

        • most clearly seen at the New Jersey Palisades
          New Jersey Palisades
          The Palisades, also called the New Jersey Palisades or the Hudson Palisades are a line of steep cliffs along the west side of the lower Hudson River in northeastern New Jersey and southern New York in the United States. The cliffs stretch north from Jersey City approximately 20 mi to near...

      • Hood Canal
        Hood Canal
        Hood Canal is a fjord forming the western lobe, and one of the four main basins, of Puget Sound in the state of Washington. Hood Canal is not a canal in the sense of being a man-made waterway—it is a natural waterway.-Geography:...

        , western Washington State

  • Arctic
    Arctic
    The Arctic is a region located at the northern-most part of the Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean and parts of Canada, Russia, Greenland, the United States, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland. The Arctic region consists of a vast, ice-covered ocean, surrounded by treeless permafrost...


  • Antarctica
    • South Georgia (UK)
    • Kerguelen Islands
      Kerguelen Islands
      The Kerguelen Islands , also known as the Desolation Islands, are a group of islands in the southern Indian Ocean constituting the emerged part of the otherwise submerged Kerguelen Plateau. The islands, along with Adélie Land, the Crozet Islands and the Amsterdam and Saint Paul Islands are part of...

       (France
      France
      The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

      )
    • particularly the Antarctic Peninsula
      Antarctic Peninsula
      The Antarctic Peninsula is the northernmost part of the mainland of Antarctica. It extends from a line between Cape Adams and a point on the mainland south of Eklund Islands....



Extreme fjords

The longest fjords in the world are:
  1. Scoresby Sund
    Scoresby Sund
    Scoresby Sund is an inlet system of the Greenland Sea on the eastern coast of Greenland. It has a tree-like structure, with a main body approximately long that branches into a system of fjords covering an area of about . The longest of these extends 340–350 km in from the coastline...

     in Greenland—350 km (217 mi)
  2. Greely Fiord
    Greely Fiord
    Greely Fiord is a natural inlet in the west of Ellesmere Island, Nunavut in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. To the west it opens into Nansen Sound....

    /Tanquary Fiord
    Tanquary Fiord
    Tanquary Fiord is a fjord on the north coast of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago's Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, Canada. It is located in the Quttinirpaaq National Park and extends 30 miles in a north-westerly direction.- History :...

     in Canada—230 km (143 mi)
  3. Sognefjord
    Sognefjord
    The Sognefjord is the largest fjord in Norway, and the second longest in the world. Located in Sogn og Fjordane county, it stretches inland to the small village of Skjolden...

     in Norway—203 km (126 mi)


Deep fjords include:
  1. Skelton Inlet
    Skelton Inlet
    The Skelton Inlet is an ice-filled inlet at the terminus of the Skelton Glacier, along the western edge of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. The feature is about 16 km wide at the entry points between Cape Timberlake and Fishtail Point, where it is about 1500 m deep. Its deepest point is...

     in Antarctica—1933 m (6,342 ft)
  2. Sognefjord
    Sognefjord
    The Sognefjord is the largest fjord in Norway, and the second longest in the world. Located in Sogn og Fjordane county, it stretches inland to the small village of Skjolden...

     in Norway—1308 m (4,291 ft) (the mountains then rise to up to 1000 m (3,281 ft))
  3. Messier Channel
    Messier Channel
    Messier Channel is a channel located in Patagonia, Chile. It trends north-south between Wellington Island and other Pacific islands and the continent, and is bounded on the north by the Gulf of Penas. This channel is named after Charles Messier, who was a French astronomer. It is a fjord in the...

    in Chile—1288 m (4,226 ft)

External links

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