Davis Strait

Davis Strait

Davis Strait, c.400 mi (640 km) long and c.180 mi (290 km) wide at the narrowest point, between Greenland and Baffin Island, NE Canada, connecting the Atlantic Ocean and Baffin Bay. Large amounts of ice and icebergs move south through the strait. The British explorer John Davis sailed through it in 1587.

Strait, northern Atlantic Ocean. Lying between southeastern Baffin Island and southwestern Greenland, it separates Baffin Bay to the north from the Labrador Sea to the south, and forms part of the Northwest Passage. About 400 mi (650 km) north to south and 200–400 mi (325–650 km) wide, it was explored in 1585 by the English navigator John Davis. Along the coast of Greenland, the Greenland Current carries relatively warm water northward, while the cold Labrador Current transports icebergs southward along Baffin Island's eastern shore.

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Davis Strait (Détroit de Davis); lies between mid-western Greenland and Baffin Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut.

With a water depth of one to two km the strait is substantially shallower than the Labrador Sea to the south or Baffin Bay to the north. It is underlain by complex geological features of buried Grabens (basins) and ridges, probably formed by strike-slip faulting during Paleogene times about 45 million to 62 million years ago. The strike-slip faulting transferred plate-tectonic motions in the Labrador Sea to Baffin Bay.

The strait was named for the English explorer John Davis (1550–1605), who explored the area while seeking a Northwest Passage.

The strait is famous for its fierce tides, which can range from 30 to 60 feet, and discouraged many earlier explorers.

Further reading

  • Boertmann, David. Mapping of Oil Spill Sensitive Areas in the Davis Strait, West Greenland A Review of Biological Data in Relation to Oil Spill Sensitivity Mapping, with an Identification of Data Gaps. Copenhagen, Denmark: Greenland Environmental Research Institute, 1992.
  • Crawford, R. E. Life History of the Davis Strait Greenland Halibut, with Reference to the Cumberland Sound Fishery. Winnipeg: Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans, 1992.
  • Dr̐ưue , C., and G. Heinemann . 2001. "Airborne Investigation Of Arctic Boundary-Layer Fronts Over The Marginal Ice Zone Of The Davis Strait". Boundary-Layer Meteorology. 101, no. 2: 261-292.
  • Heide-Jorgensen, M P, H Stern, and K L Laidre. 2007. "Dynamics of the Sea Ice Edge in Davis Strait". Journal of Marine Systems : Journal of the European Association of Marine Sciences and Techniques. 67, no. 1: 170.
  • Jones, A G E, and Arthur Credland. 1998. "The Greenland and Davis Strait Trade, 1740-1880". The Polar Record. 34, no. 189: 162.
  • J̐ưrgensen, O, C Hvingel, P M̐ưller, and M Treble. 2005. "Identification and Mapping of Bottom Fish Assemblages in Davis Strait and Southern Baffin Bay". Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 62: 1833-1852.
  • Mallory ML, GJ Roberston, and A Moenting. 2006. "Marine Plastic Debris in Northern Fulmars from Davis Strait, Nunavut, Canada". Marine Pollution Bulletin. 52, no. 7: 813-5.
  • Ross, W. Gillies. Arctic Whalers, Icy Seas Narratives of the Davis Strait Whale Fishery. Toronto, Canada: Irwin Pub, 1985. ISBN 0772515247

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