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  • there are two Baffin Bays in North America, one (pictured) containing about a million times more water than the other?

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Baffin Bay, lying between Nunavut, Canada and Greenland.
     Baffin Bay

Baffin Bay (French: Baie de Baffin) is a sea connecting the Atlantic and Arctic oceans. It is 1,130 km (700 mi) across from north to south. It is not navigable most of the year because of the presence of large numbers of icebergs.



In 1585 British explorer, John Davis, was the first recorded European to enter the bay. William Baffin made five voyages to the Arctic and reached Baffin Bay in 1616. During these voyages it was proven that the Northwest Passage was not in the Hudson Bay area.[1]

Baffin Bay was the epicenter of a 7.3 magnitude earthquake in 1933. See 1933 Baffin Bay earthquake.


An iceberg at the edge of the Baffin Bay's sea ice.
Fog over Baffin Bay

Baffin Bay is an arm of the Arctic Ocean bounded by Baffin Island in the west, Greenland in the east, and Ellesmere Island in the north. It connects to the Atlantic through Davis Strait, and to the Arctic through several narrow channels of Nares Strait. It is a northwestern extension of the North-Atlantic and Labrador Sea.[2] It can also be viewed as a long strait separating Baffin Island and Greenland.[3]



The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of Baffin Bay as follows:[4]

On the North. A line from Cape Sheridan, Grant Land (82°35′N 60°45′W / 82.583°N 60.75°W / 82.583; -60.75) to Cape Bryant, Greenland.

On the East. The West Coast of Greenland.

On the South. The parallel of 70° North between Greenland and Baffin Land.

On the West. The Eastern limits of the North-West Passages [The East Coast of Ellesmere Island between C. Sheridan and Cape Norton Shaw (76°29′N 78°30′W / 76.483°N 78.5°W / 76.483; -78.5), thence across to Phillips Point (Coburg Island) through this Island to Marina Peninsula (75°55′N 79°10′W / 75.917°N 79.167°W / 75.917; -79.167) and across to Cape Fitz Roy (Devon Island) down the East Coast to Cape Sherard (Cape Osborn) (74°35′N 80°30′W / 74.583°N 80.5°W / 74.583; -80.5) and across to Cape Liverpool, Bylot Island (73°44′N 77°50′W / 73.733°N 77.833°W / 73.733; -77.833); down the East coast of this island to Cape Graham Moore, its southeastern point, and thence across to Cape Macculloch (72°29′N 75°08′W / 72.483°N 75.133°W / 72.483; -75.133) and down the East coast of Baffin Island to East Bluff, its Southeastern extremity, and thence the Eastern limit of Hudson Strait].


About 120,000 Beluga whales live in Baffin Bay, eating small fish and crustaceans. They are at risk of being trapped in the ice and also face environmental concerns.[5]

See also


Coordinates: 73°24′N 68°08′W / 73.4°N 68.133°W / 73.4; -68.133 (Baffin Bay)

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BAFFIN BAY and BAFFIN LAND an arctic sea and an insular tract named after the explorer William Baffin. Baffin or Baffin's Bay is part of the long strait which separates Baffin Land from Greenland. It extends from about 69° to 78° N. and from 54° to 76° W. From the northern end it is connected (I) with the polar sea northward by Smith Sound, prolonged by Kane Basin and Kennedy and Robeson Channels; (2) with the straits which ramify through the archipelago to the north-west by narrow channels at the head of Jones Sound, from which O. Sverdrup and his party conducted explorations in 1900-1902; (3) with the more southerly part of the same archipelago by Lancaster Sound. Baffin Bay was explored very fully in 1616 by Baffin. The coasts are generally high, precipitous and deeply indented. The most important island on the east side is Disco, to the north of Disco Bay, Greenland. During the greater part of the year this sea is frozen, but, while hardly ever free of ice, there are normally navigable channels along the coasts from the beginning of June to the end of September connected by transverse channels. The bay is noted as a centre of the whale and seal fishery. At more than one point a depth exceeding 1000 fathoms has been ascertained.

Baffin Land is a barren insular tract, included in Franklin district, Canada, with an approximate area of 236,000 sq. m., situated between 61° and 90° W. and 62° and 74° N. The eastern and northern coasts are rocky and mountainous, and are deeply indented by large bays including Frobisher and Home Bays, Cumberland Sound and Admiralty Inlet. Baffin Land is separated from Greenland by Baffin Bay and Davis Strait, from Ungava by Hudson Strait, from Keewatin and Melville Peninsula by Fox Channel and Fury-and-Hecla Strait, from Boothia Peninsula and North Somerset by the Gulf of Boothia and Prince Regent Inlet, and from North Devon by Lancaster Sound. Various names are given to various parts of the land - thus the north-western part is called Cockburn Land, farther east is North Galloway; on the extreme eastern peninsula are Cumberland and Penny Lands, while the southern is called Meta Incognita; in the west is Fox Land. In the southern part of the interior are two large lakes, Amadjuak, which lies at an altitude of 289 ft., and Nettiling or Kennedy.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


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Proper noun

Baffin Bay


Baffin Bay

  1. A sea between Greenland and Nunavut.


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