Harbor

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For other uses, see Harbor (disambiguation).
Capri harbor, Italy seen from Anacapri.

A harbor or harbour (see spelling differences), or haven, is a body of water where ships, boats and barges seek shelter from stormy weather, or are stored for future use. Harbors and ports are often confused with each other. A port is a manmade facility built for loading and unloading vessels and dropping off and picking up passengers. Ports are often located in harbors.

Harbors can be natural or artificial. An artificial harbor can have deliberately constructed breakwaters, sea walls, or jettys, or they can be constructed by dredging, which requires maintenance by further periodic dredging. An example of an artificial harbor is Long Beach Harbor, California, United States which was an array of salt marshes and tidal flats too shallow for modern merchant ships before it was first dredged in the early 20th century.[1]

In contrast, a natural harbor is surrounded on several sides by prominences of land. Examples of natural harbors include Sydney Harbour, Australia and Trincomalee Harbour in Sri Lanka.

Artificial harbors[edit]

Artificial harbors are frequently built for use as ports. The oldest artificial harbor known is the Ancient Egyptian site at Wadi al-Jarf, on the Red Sea coast, which is at least 4500 years old (ca. 2600-2550 BC, reign of King Khufu). The largest artificially created harbor is Jebel Ali in Dubai.[2] Other large and busy artificial harbors include:

The Ancient Carthaginians constructed fortified, artificial harbors called cothons.

Natural harbors[edit]

A natural harbor in Vizhinjam, India
Visakhapatnam Natural Harbour

A natural harbor is a landform where a part of a body of water is protected and deep enough to furnish anchorage. Many such harbors are rias. Natural harbors have long been of great strategic naval and economic importance, and many great cities of the world are located on them. Having a protected harbor reduces or eliminates the need for breakwaters as it will result in calmer waves inside the harbor. Some examples are:

Ice-free harbors[edit]

For harbors near the North and South Poles, being ice-free is an important advantage, especially when it is year-round. Examples of these include:

The world's southmost harbor, located at Antarctica's Winter Quarters Bay (77° 50′ South), is potentially ice-free, depending on the summertime pack ice conditions.[3]

Important harbors[edit]

The tiny harbor at the village of Clovelly, Devon, England
Old Harbor in Lüneburg, Germany.
The harbor of Piraeus in Greece.
The harbor of Gorey, Jersey falls dry at low tide.
Punta del Este's harbor – nicknamed the Monte Carlo of South America[4][5][6]
The harbor in Aberystwyth, painted c. 1850

Although the world's busiest port is a hotly contested title, in 2006 the world's busiest harbor by cargo tonnage was the Port of Shanghai.[7][needs update]

The following are large natural harbors:

Other notable harbors include:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ http://geology.campus.ad.csulb.edu/people/bperry/geology303/geol303chapter8.html
  2. ^ Hattendorf, John B. (2007), The Oxford encyclopedia of maritime history, Oxford University Press, p. 590, ISBN 978-0-19-513075-1 
  3. ^ U.S. Polar Programs National Science Foundation FY2000.
  4. ^ "Circuit Guide | Punta del Este, Uruguay". FIA Formula E. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  5. ^ "Formula E reveals circuit for Punta del Este ePrix". FIA Formula E. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  6. ^ "Formula E unveils Punta del Este circuit in Uruguay". autosport.com. 2014-06-20. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  7. ^ AAPA World Port Rankings 2006

External links[edit]