List of seas
This is a list of seas - large divisions of the World Ocean, including areas of water variously, gulfs, bights, bays, and straits.
- World Ocean - the single connected salty body of water that covers the majority of Earth's surface.
- Ocean - the four to seven largest named bodies of water in the World Ocean, all of which have "Ocean" in the name. See borders of the oceans for details.
- Sea has several definitions:[a]
- A marginal sea - a marginal sea is a division of an ocean, partially enclosed by islands, archipelagos, or peninsulas, adjacent to or widely open to the open ocean at the surface, and/or bounded by submarine ridges on the sea floor.
- A division of an ocean, delineated by landforms, currents (e.g. Sargasso Sea), or specific latitude or longitude boundaries. This includes but is not limited to marginal seas, and this is the definition used for inclusion in this list.
- The World Ocean. For example, the Law of the Sea states that all of the World Ocean is "sea",[b] and this is also common usage for "the sea".
- Any large body of water with "Sea" in the name, including lakes.
- Strait - a narrow area of water connecting two wider areas of water
There are several terms used for bulges of ocean that result from indentations of land, which overlap in definition:
- Bay - generic term; though most features with "Bay" in the name are small, some are very large
- Gulf - a very large bay, often a top-level division of an ocean or sea
- Fjord - a long bay with steep sides, typically formed by a glacier
- Bight - a bay that is typically shallower than a sound
- Sound - a large, wide bay which is typically deeper than a bight, or a strait
- Cove - a very small, typically sheltered bay
Many features could be considered to be more than one of these, and all of these terms are used in place names inconsistently; especially bays, gulfs, and bights which can be very large or very small. This list includes large areas of water no matter the term used in the name.
Sources differ over which seas are considered marginal seas as well as which ocean a given sea is considered a marginal part of. There is no single ultimate authority on the matter.
(coast wise north to south)
- Davis Strait
- Labrador Sea
- Gulf of St. Lawrence
- Gulf of Maine
- Nantucket Sound
- Buzzards Bay
- Narragansett Bay
- Long Island Sound
- New York Bay
- Chesapeake Bay
- Gulf of Mexico
- Caribbean Sea
- Argentine Sea
Europe, Africa, and Asia
- Norwegian Sea
- North Sea
- Baltic Sea
- English Channel
- Irish Sea
- Celtic Sea
- Bay of Biscay
- Mediterranean Sea
- Marmara Sea
- Black Sea
- Sea of Azov
- Gulf of Guinea
(east to west)
- Denmark Strait (between Greenland and Iceland)
- Irish Sea (between Ireland and Great Britain)
- Inner Seas off the West Coast of Scotland
- Sea of the Hebrides (Great Britain)
(clockwise from 180°)
- Chukchi Sea
- East Siberian Sea
- Laptev Sea
- Kara Sea
- Barents Sea (connected to Kara Sea by Kara Strait)
- Wandel Sea
- Greenland Sea
- Lincoln Sea (recognized by IHO but not IMO)
- Baffin Bay
- The Northwest Passages
- Hudson Strait
- Hudson Bay
- Beaufort Sea
- Amundsen Sea
- Bass Strait
- Bellingshausen Sea
- Cooperation Sea[c]
- Cosmonauts Sea[c]
- Davis Sea
- D'Urville Sea
- Drake Passage
- Great Australian Bight
- Gulf St Vincent
- King Haakon VII Sea[c]
- Lazarev Sea[c]
- Mawson Sea[c]
- Riiser-Larsen Sea
- Ross Sea
- Scotia Sea
- Somov Sea[c]
- Spencer Gulf
- Weddell Sea
- Andaman Sea
- Arabian Sea
- Bay of Bengal
- Gulf of Aden
- Gulf of Oman
- Laccadive Sea
- Mozambique Channel
- Persian Gulf
- Red Sea
- Timor Sea
- Arafura Sea
- Bali Sea
- Banda Sea
- Bering Sea
- Bismarck Sea
- Bohai Sea
- Bohol Sea (also known as the Mindanao Sea)
- Camotes Sea
- Celebes Sea
- Ceram Sea
- Chilean Sea
- Sea of Chiloé
- Coral Sea
- East China Sea
- Flores Sea
- Gulf of Alaska
- Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortés)
- Gulf of Carpentaria
- Gulf of Thailand
- Halmahera Sea
- Java Sea
- Koro Sea
- Mar de Grau
- Molucca Sea
- Philippine Sea
- Salish Sea
- Savu Sea
- Sea of Japan
- Sea of Okhotsk
- Sea of Cortez
- Seto Inland Sea
- Sibuyan Sea
- Solomon Sea
- South China Sea
- Sulu Sea
- Tasman Sea
- Visayan Sea
- Yellow Sea
Defined by currents
Entities called "seas" which are not divisions of the Earth's World Ocean are not included in this list. Excluded are:
- Salt lakes with "Sea" in the name: Aral Sea, Caspian Sea (and Garabogazköl), Dead Sea, Salton Sea
- Freshwater lakes with "Sea" in the name: Sea of Galilee
- Extraterrestrial oceans: List of largest lakes and seas in the Solar System
- Lunar mare, like the Sea of Tranquility, which contain no liquids: List of maria on the Moon
- Gulfs, bays, and straits of lakes
Other items not included:
- Small fjords too numerous to list: Category:Fjords
- Small bays too numerous to list: Category:Bays
- Small sounds too numerous to list: Sound (geography)
- Small straits too numerous to list: List of straits
- Ocean gyres
- Ocean banks
- There is no accepted technical definition of sea amongst oceanographers. A rather weak definition is that a sea is a sub-division of an ocean, which means that it must have oceanic basin crust on its floor. This definition for example accepts the Caspian, which was once part of an ancient ocean, as a sea. The Introduction to Marine Biology defines a sea as a "land-locked" body of water, adding that the term "sea" is only one of convenience, but the book is written by marine biologists, not oceanographers. The Glossary of Mapping Sciences similarly states that the boundaries between seas and other bodies of water are arbitrary.
- According to this definition, the Caspian would be excluded as it is legally an "international lake".
- Proposed names to the IHO 2002 draft. This draft was never approved by the IHO (or any other organization), and the 1953 IHO document (which does not contain these names which mostly originated from 1962 onward) remains currently in force. Leading geographic authorities and atlases do not use these names, including the 2014 10th edition World Atlas from the National Geographic Society and the 2014 12th edition of the Times Atlas of the World. But Soviet and Russian-issued state maps do include them.
- Conforti, B; Bravo, Luigi Ferrari (2005-12-30). "The Italian Yearbook of International Law 2004". ISBN 9789004150270.
- Karleskint, George; Turner, Richard L; Small, James W (2009-01-02). "Introduction to Marine Biology". ISBN 9780495561972.
- The Glossary of the Mapping Sciences - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. 1994. ISBN 9780784475706. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
- American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (1994). Glossary of the mapping sciences. ASCE Publications. p. 469. ISBN 978-0-7844-0050-0. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
- "What's the difference between an ocean and a sea?". Oceanservice.noaa.gov. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
- Vukas, B (2004). "The Law of the Sea: Selected Writings". ISBN 9789004138636.
- Gupta, Manoj (2010). "Indian Ocean Region: Maritime Regimes for Regional Cooperation". ISBN 9781441959898.
- "Seven Seas - Discover The Seven Seas of the Earth". Geography.about.com. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
- Gokay, Bulent (2001-04-07). "The Politics of Caspian Oil". ISBN 9780333739730.
- "gulf - coastal feature".
- James C. F. Wang (1992). Handbook on ocean politics & law. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 14–. ISBN 9780313264344. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
- Longhurt, Alan R. (2007). Ecological Geography of the Sea. Academic Press. p. 104. ISBN 978-0-12-455521-1. Retrieved 13 December 2010.
- often treated as part of Mediterranean Sea
- "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd (currently in-force) edition" (PDF). International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
- The dictionary definition of marginal sea at Wiktionary
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|List of straits|
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