Vasa Loch

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Vasa Loch
Vasa Loch.jpg
Raised beach separating Vasa Loch (left) from the sea.
Location Shapinsay, Orkney Islands, Scotland
Coordinates 59°03′00″N 2°55′23″W / 59.050°N 2.923°W / 59.050; -2.923Coordinates: 59°03′00″N 2°55′23″W / 59.050°N 2.923°W / 59.050; -2.923
Lake type brackish
Basin countries United Kingdom
Max. length 300 m (980 ft)
Max. width 200 m (660 ft)
Surface elevation 1 m (3.3 ft)
Islands none
Settlements Balfour

Vasa Loch is a brackish lagoon in southwestern Shapinsay, Orkney Islands. (Ordnance, 2002) This water body has been shown on early maps of the island in a very similar shape and size to its current geometry, separated from the North Sea by a narrow strip of raised beach.(Masters, 1840) Vasa Loch is fed by small rivulets and upland springs that rise on the western part of the island's western spur. pH levels of the loch are strongly alkaline, in the range of 10.15. (Hogan, 2006)


The particular landform associated with Vasa Loch is an ayre, derived from the Old Norse word used to depict a lake which is only separated by a narrow strip of low-lying land from the sea itself.(Shapinsay)


  • Ordnance Survey Map, Landranger, United Kingdom, 1:50,000 (2002)
  • G.T, Masters, Orkney, Approaches to Kirkwall, HMS official survey map, 1840-1843
  • C.M Hogan, Natural History of the Orkney Islands (2006)
  • Shapinsay Island, Orkney

See also[edit]