Saturday, December 20, 2014

Major and Prominent Straits of the World - World Geography

1. Strait of Gibraltar (Bab-el-Azkak): Connecting Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean and separates Africa (Morocco) and Europe (Iberian Peninsula). Due to its extreme strategic importance, it is also called ‘key of the Mediterranean Sea’. One amongst the world’s hardest rocks i.e. Gibraltar Rock’ is situated here. This is one of the busiest straits of the world through which several dozens of merchant and navy ships cross every day throughout the year. 

2. Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb: It separates Arab Peninsula and Africa and connects Red Sea and Gulf of Aden. It has strategic importance. The ships moving through the Suez Canal pass through it. A bridge is under consideration to be constructed on this strait to provide a land-route between south-west Asia and east Africa. 

3. Bass Strait: It is a major Strait which connects Tasman Sea and Indian Ocean and separates mainland of Australia and Tasmania Island. It is very rich in mineral oil and natural gas. Many small island are located in it. It is a busy shipping route connecting the cities of western Australia with those of eastern part of Australia. The ships from the Indian Ocean to New Zealand also pass through this strait. It is named after the English explorer George Bass who discovered the strait in 1798. 

4. Bosporus Strait: it is a famous strait which connects Black Sea and Sea of Marmara and separates Asia and Europe. It has strategic importance. The ships going to the Black Sea pass through it. ‘Istanbul’ city is located along its coast. This strait is about 32km in length. 

5. Malacca Strait: It connects Andaman Sea and Java Sea and separates Malay Peninsula and Sumatra Island. It is very important from transport point of view. The ships going to China, Japan and western parts of America pass through it. The port of Malacca and Singapore lie on this coast. 

6. Strait of Hormuz: It is a narrow strait which connects Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman and separates Iran and Oman. It has always been important strategically. The oil tankers pass through it in large numbers. Because seepage and spill of oil, the Hormuz Strait is highly polluted and this has affected its marine ecosystem and life adversely. 

7. Davis Strait: It separates Canada and Greenland and connects Baffin Bay and Labrador Sea. The cold Labrador Current passes through it, which brings huge sized icebergs along with it. It freezes in winters. 

8. Bering Strait: It connects Arctic Ocean and Pacific Ocean and separates Asia and North America. It is very narrow and thus big icebergs to do not enter the Pacific Ocean. 

9. Goteborg Strait (Denmark Strait): The Goteborg Strait separates Greenland from Iceland. Under the impact of Westwind Drift (Gulf Stream), its water remain above freezing point throughout the year. During the World War-II, H.M.S. Hood (Britain’s Warship) was sunk here by the German battleship, Bismark. 

10. Dardanelles Strait: It connects Aegean Sea and Marmara Sea and separates Europe and Asia. It is strategically and commercially important. The ships going to Black Sea pass through it. This strait provides an international trading route to Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Romania, Bulgaria and northern sea ports of Turkey. 

11. Magellan Strait: It connects Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean and separates Terra del Fuego Island from the mainland of South America. It is a shallow strait and it rich in mineral oil. Its water is very cold and weather is always stormy. It was dangerous sea-route. Its importance declined with the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914. 

12. Tsugaru Strait: It separates Honshu and Hokkaido Island of Japan. World’s largest railway tunnel ‘Siekan Tunnel’ is built in it, through which ‘Bullet Train’ passes. It is very important for transport. 

13. Sunda Strait: It separates Java and Sumatra Island of Indonesia and connects Java Sea to the Indian Ocean. This water route is very much used for oceanic navigation. Famous Krokatoa Island lies in its middle. 

14. Drake Passage: It separates South America and Antarctica and connects Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Ocean. Due to extreme influence of Westerlies, the probability of ship accidents increases. Therefore, it is also called ‘graveyard of sailors’. 

15. Florida Strait: A water way situated between southern end of Florida and Cuba, which connects the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Florida current passes through it. 

16. Skagerrak Strait: It separates Scandinavia and Jutland Peninsula and connects Baltic Sea and North Sea. This strait is important strategically and from the transport point of view. 

17. Cook Strait: it separates North Island and South Island of New Zealand and connects Tasman Sea and Pacific Ocean. Wellington, capital of New Zealand located along it coast. It is relatively calm and has less turbulent weather. 

18. English Channel: It separates British Isles and Europe. It is a shallow channel. At present, it has been made a ‘Railway Tunnel’, which connects London and Paris. The tunnel brought Paris and London channel by Swimming in 1875. 

19. Torres Strait: It connects Arafura Sea and Coral Sea and separates Australia and Papua New Guinea. It is rich in petroleum and natural gas, pearls, fish and coral formation. 

20. Messina Strait: This is a channel separates the Island of sicily from the toe of Italy. It connects the ionian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The strait is about 32Km in length and is known for the strength of its currents. 

21. Golden Gate: This is a deep channel connecting Pacific Ocean and San Francisco city of U.S.A. It is spanned by a suspension bridge which was completed in 1937. 

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