Nazaré Canyon

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The Nazaré Canyon

The Nazaré Canyon is an undersea canyon just off the coast of Nazaré (Portugal), in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. It has a maximum depth of at least 5,000 metres (16,000 ft) and is about 230 kilometres (140 mi) long.[1]

The canyon is being studied as part of the EU HERMES project using a remotely operated vehicle. The project is investigating the specialised canyon ecosystems, sediment transport and deposition, and the way in which the canyon influences and is affected by local ocean circulation.[2]


The Nazare Canyon causes very high breaking waves.[3] This makes Nazare a hotspot for big wave surfing.

In November 2011, Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara surfed a record breaking giant wave: 78 feet (24 m) from trough to crest, at Nazaré.[4] In January 2013 it was reported that he successfully rode a wave measuring a maximum estimate of 100 feet (30 m) at the same location and possibly exceeding the size of his previous record-breaking wave.[5]

Nazare canyon 1.jpg


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Coordinates: 39°31′N 9°55′W / 39.51°N 9.92°W / 39.51; -9.92