Denmark Strait

Coordinates: 67°N 24°W / 67°N 24°W / 67; -24
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Denmark Strait
Denmark Strait separates Iceland from Greenland in the upper left.
Denmark Strait is located in Greenland
Denmark Strait
Denmark Strait
LocationBetween Iceland and Greenland
Coordinates67°N 24°W / 67°N 24°W / 67; -24
Max. length350 kilometres (220 mi)
Pack ice in the Denmark Strait

The Denmark Strait (Danish: Danmarksstrædet) or Greenland Strait (Icelandic: Grænlandssund [ˈkrainˌlan(t)sˌsʏnt], 'Greenland Sound') is an oceanic strait between Greenland to its northwest and Iceland to its southeast. The Norwegian island of Jan Mayen lies northeast of the strait.


The strait connects the Greenland Sea, an extension of the Arctic Ocean, to the Irminger Sea, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It stretches 480 kilometres (300 mi) long and 290 kilometres (180 mi) wide at its narrowest, between Straumnes, the northwestern headland of the Westfjords peninsula of Hornstrandir, and Cape Tupinier on Blosseville Coast in East Greenland. The official International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) delineation between the Arctic and the North Atlantic Oceans runs from Straumnes to Cape Nansen, 132 km (82 miles) southwest of Cape Tunipier. From Straumnes to Cape Nansen the distance is 336 km (209 miles).


The narrow depth, where the Greenland–Iceland Rise runs along the bottom of the sea, is 191 metres (625 ft). The cold East Greenland Current passes through the strait and carries icebergs south into the North Atlantic. It hosts important fisheries.

The world's largest known underwater waterfall, known as the Denmark Strait cataract, flows down the western side of the Denmark Strait.[1]

Battle of the Denmark Strait[edit]

During World War II, the Battle of the Denmark Strait took place on 24 May 1941. The German battleship Bismarck sank the British battlecruiser HMS Hood, which exploded with the loss of all but three of her 1,418 crew; HMS Prince of Wales was seriously damaged in the engagement. Bismarck entered the Atlantic through the Strait, but damage sustained in the battle—combined with British aircraft search-and-destroy missions—led to her own sinking three days later.

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