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Mozayique Mosaic

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Maverick Wright
Maverick Wright


A strait is an oceanic landform connecting two seas. The surface water generally flows at the same elevation on both sides and through the strait in either direction. Most commonly, it is a narrow ocean channel that lies between two land masses. Some straits are not navigable, for example because they are either too narrow or too shallow, or because of an unnavigable reef or archipelago. Straits are also known to be loci for sediment accumulation. Usually, sand-size deposits occur on both the two opposite strait exits, forming subaqueous fans or deltas.


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.

Numerous artificial channels, called canals, have been constructed to connect two oceans or seas over land, such as the Suez Canal. Although rivers and canals often provide passage between two large lakes, 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.

Straits are the converse of isthmuses. That is, while a strait lies between two land masses and connects two large areas of ocean, an isthmus lies between two areas of ocean and connects two large 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 5.6 GW[2] even though the total energy available in the flow is 15 GW.[3]

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 a coastal nation (Straits 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.[4]

A strait is a narrow body of water that connects two larger bodies of water.It may be formed by a fracture in an isthmus, a narrow body of land that connects two bodies of water. Tectonic shifts can lead to straits like this. One strait that was formed by tectonic activity is the Strait of Gibraltar, the only link between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The Strait of Gibraltar is actually closing, as the African tectonic plate slides north. In a few thousand years, the Strait of Gibraltar will be the Isthmus of Gibraltar, and the Mediterranean will be a large, salty, inland sea.If fractures in an isthmus are created by human activity, the straits are usually called canals. The Suez Canal was constructed in 1869 as a waterway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. The Suez Canal allows transportation between Europe and Asia without having to go around the entire continent of Africa. It is an important economic strait.A strait can also be formed by a body of water overflowing land that has subsided or has been eroded. The Bosporus, which links the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea, was formed this way. Land at the southwestern edge of the Black Sea eroded and crumbled, creating a strait. Although scientists know that the Black Sea was once an enclosed lake, they do not know for sure whether the Black Sea flooded into the Aegean, or the Aegean flooded into the Black Sea. The Bosporus is an extremely important strait, separating the continents of Europe and Asia. Besides two entire continents, the Bosporus also separates a single country. It splits the European part of Turkey, called Thrace, and the Asian part, called Anatolia.Strategic StraitsHistorically, straits have had great strategic importance. Whoever controls a strait is likely to control the sea and shipping routes of the entire region.The Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf and a part of the Arabian Sea called the Gulf of Oman. Great quantities of petroleum from Middle Eastern states are shipped through the Strait of Hormuz.The strait is jointly controlled by Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Iran. These countries, which all export oil, are rarely in dispute with each other. They all have military centers in the region. Countries that import oil from the region also patrol the Strait of Hormuz. Sometimes, these military patrols can lead to conflict. In 2008, the United States accused Iran of harassing U.S. warships with small speedboats. Iran denied the allegations. The two countries were close to conflict for months before the dispute was settled without violence.Their narrow passages can make some straits difficult to navigate. The Strait of Magellan is a very thin waterway between the southern tip of South America and the group of islands known as Tierra del Fuego. The strait links the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The stormy waters south of Tierra del Fuego (close to Antarctica) made the Strait of Magellan, to the north, more attractive to mariners. Although the landmasses protect the strait from harsh Antarctic weather, the Strait of Magellan is still difficult to navigate. It is narrow and the islands of Tierra del Fuego can lead to confusion in stormy weather. The temperatures can reach freezing. Strong wind and waves make visibility and steering complex.Whaling ships of the 19th century, sailing from the East Coast of the United States to the whaling grounds of the South Pacific, would sometimes stay for weeks around the Strait of Magellan, waiting for calm, clear days for passage.

The Strait of Hormuz, located between Oman and Iran, connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea. The Strait of Hormuz is the world's most important oil chokepoint because of the large volumes of oil that flow through the strait. In 2018, its daily oil flow averaged 21 million barrels per day (b/d), or the equivalent of about 21% of global petroleum liquids consumption.

There are limited options to bypass the Strait of Hormuz. Only Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pipelines that can ship crude oil outside the Persian Gulf and have the additional pipeline capacity to circumvent the Strait of Hormuz. At the end of 2018, the total available crude oil pipeline capacity from the two countries combined was estimated at 6.5 million b/d. In that year, 2.7 million b/d of crude oil moved through the pipelines, leaving about 3.8 million b/d of unused capacity that could have bypassed the strait.

Based on tanker tracking data published by ClipperData, Saudi Arabia moves the most crude oil and condensate through the Strait of Hormuz, most of which is exported to other countries (less than 0.5 million b/d transited the strait in 2018 from Saudi ports in the Persian Gulf to Saudi ports in the Red Sea).

This pier is located east of Crockett on the south shore of the Carquinez Strait, where people come to try to catch sturgeon and striped bass. While you try your luck, enjoy watching the cargo ships, tankers and recreational boats sailing by in the strait.

The geographical term straits used in the name of a location (as a proper noun) does not necessarily imply the existence of multiple straits; see for instance the Bering Straits, the Straits of Gibraltar, the Straits of Hormuz, the Straits of Juan de Fuca, the Straits of Magellan, the Straits of Malacca, the Sunda Straits, the Taiwan Straits, etc.

These conclusions are consistent with the monthly mean sea ice concentration based on passive microwave data from AMSR-E and AMSR221. The climatology for June (Fig. 6a) indicates that the ice cover over the Lincoln Sea is typically close to 100%, while that along Nares Strait is lower at 60-80%. To the south of Nares Strait, over the North Water, ice cover is close to 0%. During June 2017 (Fig. 6b), after the collapse of the northern ice arch, ice cover along Nares Strait is lower than the climatology with open water along the eastern coast of the strait and higher ice concentrations to the west that is consistent with coastal downwelling and southward ice and ocean velocities associated the climatological northerly winds22,23,24. In contrast, during June 2018 (Fig. 6c) 100% ice cover was present along much of Nares Strait to the north of Smith Sound, a result consistent with a cessation of ice motion as a result of the presence of a southern ice arch. The situation during June 2019 (Fig. 6d) is similar to that during June 2017 and again is consistent with southward ice transport.

Cross-strait tensions have escalated since the election of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen in 2016. Tsai has refused to accept a formula that her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou, endorsed to allow for increased cross-strait ties. Meanwhile, Beijing has taken increasingly aggressive actions, including by flying fighter jets near the island. Some analysts fear a Chinese attack on Taiwan has the potential to draw the United States into a war with China.

Beijing has also used nonmilitary measures to pressure Taiwan. In 2016, China suspended a cross-strait communication mechanism with the main Taiwan liaison office. It restricted tourism to Taiwan, and the number of mainland tourists visiting Taiwan fell from a high of over 4 million in 2015 to 2.7 million in 2019. China has also pressured global corporations, including airlines and hotel chains, to list Taiwan as a Chinese province. In addition, China has intimidated countries that have ties with Taiwan: in 2021, China cut off trade with Lithuania for opening a Taiwanese representative office in its capital. 041b061a72


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