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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Davis Strait, lying between Greenland and Nunavut, Canada.      Nunavut      Quebec      Newfoundland and Labrador      Regions outside Canada (Greenland, Iceland)

Davis Strait (French: Détroit de Davis) is a northern arm of the Labrador Sea. It lies between mid-western Greenland and Nunavut, Canada's Baffin Island. The strait was named for the English explorer John Davis (1550–1605), who explored the area while seeking a Northwest Passage.



The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Davis Strait as follows:[1]

On the North. The Southern limit of Baffin Bay [The parallel of 70° North between Greenland and Baffin Land].

On the East. The Southwest coast of Greenland.

On the South. The parallel of 60° North between Greenland and Labrador.

On the West. The Eastern limit of the Northwestern Passages South of 70° North and of Hudson Strait.


The Davis Strait is underlain by complex geological features of buried grabens (basins) and ridges, probably formed by strike-slip faulting during Paleogene times about 45 million to 62 million years ago. The strike-slip faulting transferred plate-tectonic motions in the Labrador Sea to Baffin Bay. It is the world's broadest strait.


With a water depth of between one and two thousand meters the strait is substantially shallower than the Labrador Sea to the south or Baffin Bay to the north.


The strait is famous for its fierce tides that can range from 30 to 60 ft (9.1 to 18 m), which discouraged many earlier explorers.


  1. ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition". International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved 19 December 2009.  

Further reading

  • Boertmann, David. Mapping of Oil Spill Sensitive Areas in the Davis Strait, West Greenland A Review of Biological Data in Relation to Oil Spill Sensitivity Mapping, with an Identification of Data Gaps. Copenhagen, Denmark: Greenland Environmental Research Institute, 1992.
  • Crawford, R. E. Life History of the Davis Strait Greenland Halibut, with Reference to the Cumberland Sound Fishery. Winnipeg: Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans, 1992.
  • Dr̐ưue , C., and G. Heinemann . 2001. "Airborne Investigation Of Arctic Boundary-Layer Fronts Over The Marginal Ice Zone Of The Davis Strait". Boundary-Layer Meteorology. 101, no. 2: 261-292.
  • Heide-Jorgensen, M P, H Stern, and K L Laidre. 2007. "Dynamics of the Sea Ice Edge in Davis Strait". Journal of Marine Systems : Journal of the European Association of Marine Sciences and Techniques. 67, no. 1: 170.
  • Jones, A G E, and Arthur Credland. 1998. "The Greenland and Davis Strait Trade, 1740-1880". The Polar Record. 34, no. 189: 162.
  • J̐ưrgensen, O, C Hvingel, P M̐ưller, and M Treble. 2005. "Identification and Mapping of Bottom Fish Assemblages in Davis Strait and Southern Baffin Bay". Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 62: 1833-1852.
  • Mallory ML, GJ Roberston, and A Moenting. 2006. "Marine Plastic Debris in Northern Fulmars from Davis Strait, Nunavut, Canada". Marine Pollution Bulletin. 52, no. 7: 813-5.
  • Ross, W. Gillies. Arctic Whalers, Icy Seas Narratives of the Davis Strait Whale Fishery. Toronto, Canada: Irwin Pub, 1985. ISBN 0772515247

External links

Coordinates: 67°00′38″N 058°01′44″W / 67.01056°N 58.02889°W / 67.01056; -58.02889 (Davis Strait)


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

DAVIS STRAIT, the broad strait which separates Greenland from North America, and connects Baffin Bay with the open Atlantic. At its narrowest point, which occurs just where the Arctic Circle crosses it, it is nearly 200 m. wide. This part is also the shallowest, a sounding of 112 fathoms being found in the centre, whereas the depth increases rapidly both to north and to south. Along the western shore (Baffin Land) a cold current passes southward; but along the east there is a warm northward stream, and there are a few Danish settlements on the Greenland coast. The strait takes its name from the explorer John Davis.

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