Sound (geography)

Sound (geography)

In geography a sound or seaway is a large sea or ocean inlet larger than a bay, deeper than a bight, wider than a fjord, or it may identify a narrow sea or ocean channel between two bodies of land (see also strait).

There is little consistency in the use of 'sound' in English-language place names.

Traditionally in northern European usage, "the" Sound is the Øresund, the strait that separates Denmark (the outermost Danish island being Sjælland) and Sweden, the narrow channel (2.5 miles or 4 kilometers wide) that connects the Kattegat with the Baltic Sea. In areas explored by the British in the late 18th Century, particularly the northwest coast of North America, the term 'sound' was applied to inlets containing large islands (Puget Sound, Howe Sound for example).

In the United States, Long Island Sound separates Long Island from the coast of Connecticut, but on the Atlantic Ocean side of Long Island, the body of water between the ocean and its barrier beaches is termed the Great South Bay. Pamlico Sound is a similar lagoon that lies between North Carolina and its barrier beaches, the Outer Banks, in a similar situation. The Mississippi Sound separates the Gulf of Mexico from the mainland along much of the gulf coasts of Mississippi and Alabama. On the West Coast, Puget Sound, by contrast, is a deep arm of the ocean.

A sound is often formed by the sea flooding a river valley. This produces a long inlet where the sloping valley hillsides descend to sea-level and continue beneath the water to form a sloping sea floor. The Marlborough Sounds in New Zealand are a good example of this type of formation.

Sometimes a sound is produced by a glacier carving out a valley on the coast then receding, or the sea invading a glacier valley. The glacier produces a sound that often has steep, near vertical, sides that extend deep under water. The sea floor is often flat and deeper at the landward end than the seaward end, due to glacial moraine deposits. This type of sound is more properly termed a "fjord" (or "fiord"). The sounds in Fiordland, New Zealand, have been formed this way.

A sound generally connotes a protected anchorage.


The word "sound" in this sense came from Anglo-Saxon or Old Norse "sund", which also means "swimming"; it may have originally meant "sea strait narrow enough for a man to swim across".

Bodies of water called sounds


*Broad Sound near Clairview, Queensland
*Camden Sound at Kuri Bay, Western Australia
*Denham Sound, part of Shark Bay in Western Australia
*King Sound at Derby, Western Australia
*King George Sound at Albany, Western Australia
*Montague Sound, Western Australia
*Noosa Sound, Noosa in Queensland
*York Sound, Western Australia


*Exuma Sound, bordered by Eleuthera, Cat Island and Great Exuma, among others
*Millars Sound, New Providence
*Rock Sound, Eleuthera
*The Sound, Bimini


Great Sound towards the archipelago's southwest end

British Isles

*Calf Sound between Isle of Man and the Calf of Man
*Clestrain Sound at the west of Mainland Orkney, Scotland
*Eynhallow Sound separating Rousay from Mainland Orkney

British Virgin Islands

*North Sound, Virgin Gorda
*South Sound, Virgin Gorda


*Baynes Sound between Denman Island and Vancouver Island, British Columbia
*Clayoquot Sound in Vancouver Island, British Columbia
*Cumberland Sound in Baffin Island's east coast
*Desolation Sound between the Discovery Islands and the coast of British Columbia.
*Eclipse Sound between Baffin Island and Bylot Island in Nunavut
*Eureka Sound between Ellesmere Island and Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut
*Hamilton Sound between Fogo Island and the Island of Newfoundland
*Howe Sound, an inlet which forms the harbour of Vancouver, British Columbia
*Jones Sound between Devon Island and Ellesmere Island in Nunavut
*Kyuquot Sound, Barkley Sound and Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia
*Lancaster Sound between Devon Island and Baffin Island in Nunavut
*Long Island Sound between Long Island in Nunavut, and Québec []
*Massey Sound between Amund Ringnes Island and Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut
*Nansen Sound between Ellesmere Island and Axel Heiberg Island in Nunavut
*Owen Sound in Ontario
*Parry Sound in Ontario
*Peel Sound between Prince of Wales Island and Somerset Island in Nunavut
*Queen Charlotte Sound off British Columbia
*Random Sound near Clarenville in Newfoundland and Labrador
*Roes Welcome Sound between Southampton Island and Hudson Bay's west shore in Nunavut
*Viscount Melville Sound between Banks Island and Melville Island in Nunavut

Cayman Islands

*Frank Sound on Grand Cayman
*North Sound on Grand Cayman

Falkland Islands

*Adventure Sound in East Falkland
*Berkeley Sound in East Falkland
*Byron Sound in West Falkland
*Choiseul Sound in East Falkland
*Falkland Sound between East Falkland and West Falkland


*Campeche Sound in Campeche

New Zealand

*Queen Charlotte Sound, New Zealand in South Island
*Marlborough Sounds in South Island
*Milford Sound in South Island


*The Sound, another name for Øresund, a body of water between Sweden and Denmark

Solomon Islands

*New Georgia Sound

United States

*Albemarle Sound in North Carolina
*Block Island Sound between Block Island and mainland Rhode Island
*Bogue Sound in North Carolina
*Breton Sound in Louisiana
*Calibogue Sound in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
*Core Sound in North Carolina
*Chatham Sound in Alaska
*Croatan Sound in North Carolina
*Currituck Sound in North Carolina
*Kotzebue Sound in Alaska
*Long Island Sound between Long Island, New York and Connecticut
*Mississippi Sound in Mississippi and Alabama
*Nantucket Sound off Nantucket, Massachusetts
*Norton Sound in Alaska
*Pamlico Sound in North Carolina
*Pine Island Sound near Cape Coral, Florida
*Prince William Sound in Alaska
*Puget Sound in Washington
*Rhode Island Sound off Rhode Island
*Roanoke Sound in North Carolina
*Somes Sound in Mount Desert Island, Maine (truly a fjord)
*Suwanee Sound off Florida
*Vineyard Sound off Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts

United States Virgin Islands

*Pillsbury Sound between Saint Thomas and Saint John

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Sound (geografía) — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Øresund del Norte …   Wikipedia Español

  • Sound (disambiguation) — Sound may mean:*Sound, Audible sense perceived by the brain, **in the form of music, speech sound, or general noise *Sound (nautical), verb meaning to take depth readings of fluids in a tank or around a ship *Sound (geography), a large ocean… …   Wikipedia

  • Geography and the Church — • Explains the nature of this science and the course of its evolution Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Geography and the Church     Geography and the Church      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Geography of Massachusetts — A portion of the north central Pioneer Valley near South Deerfield, much more rural than Springfield, in the southern part of the valley, or Boston, which is on the coast. Massachusetts, the 7th smallest state in the United States …   Wikipedia

  • Geography of Bermuda — Bermuda Nickname: The Island or The Rock Topographic map of Bermuda …   Wikipedia

  • Geography of North Carolina — The Geography of North Carolina s second name is bill, a state of the United States, falls naturally into three divisions or sections the Appalachian Mountains formed mostly by the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, the Middle or Piedmont… …   Wikipedia

  • Sound Beach, New York — Infobox Settlement official name = Sound Beach, New York settlement type = CDP nickname = motto = imagesize = image caption = image pushpin pushpin label position =none pushpin map caption =Location within the state of New York pushpin mapsize =… …   Wikipedia

  • Geography of Western Australia — Western Australia occupies nearly one third of the Australian continent.Due to the size and the isolation of the state, considerable emphasis has been made of these features; it is the second largest administrative territory in the world, after… …   Wikipedia

  • Geography of Ontario — Country geography name = Ontario continent = North America region = North America Eastern Canada Central Canada coordinates = coord|49|15|0|N|84|29|59|W area|ranking = 2nd among provinces km area = 917741 percent land = 85.3 km coastline = 3840… …   Wikipedia

  • Geography of New York Harbor — [ Upper New York Bay,2. Lower New York Bay,3. Newark Bay, 4. Hudson River, 5. East River, 6. Raritan Bay, 7. Jamaica Bay, 8. Long Island Sound.9. New York Bight (North Atlantic Ocean), 10. Ambrose Channel11. Mud Dump Site12. Hudson CanyonMajor… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”