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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Labrador Sea between Greenland and Labrador

Labrador Sea (French: mer du Labrador) is an arm of the North Atlantic Ocean between Labrador and Greenland.

Water depths in the center of Labrador Sea are around 3.3 km (2 mi)[1] and it is flanked by continental shelves to the southwest, northwest, and northeast. It connects to the north with Baffin Bay through the Davis Strait.[2]

The Labrador Sea probably formed by sea-floor spreading that started around 61 million years ago and stopped about 40 million years ago. There is an earlier history of basin formation on all margins.

During the ice age, the North American ice sheet repeatedly collapsed sending armadas of icebergs into Labrador Sea. Rocks that melted from the icebergs today form a layer of drop stones (glacial erratics) on the bottom of Labrador Sea.

Past sunset at Labrador Sea, off the coast of Paamiut, Greenland

One of the world's largest turbidite channels runs N-S in the middle of Labrador Sea. Turbidite avalanches run down this channel for many hundreds of kilometers, many of them ending in very deep water off New England.

The Labrador Sea is the source of the North Atlantic Deep Water, a cold, highly saline water that forms in the Labrador Sea and flows at great depth along the western edge of the North Atlantic, spreading out to form the largest identifiable water mass in the World Ocean.


The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Labrador Sea as follows:[3]

On the North. The South limit of Davis Strait [The parallel of 60° North between Greenland and Labrador].

On the East. A line from Cape St. Francis 47°45′N 52°27′W / 47.75°N 52.45°W / 47.75; -52.45 (Cape St. Francis) (Newfoundland) to Cape Farewell (Greenland).

On the West. The East Coast of Labrador and Newfoundland and the Northeast limit of the Gulf of St. Lawrence - a line running from Cape Bauld (North point of Kirpon Island, 51°40′N 55°25′W / 51.667°N 55.417°W / 51.667; -55.417 (Cape Bauld)) to the East extreme of Belle Isle and on to the Northeast Ledge (52°02′N 55°15′W / 52.033°N 55.25°W / 52.033; -55.25 (Belle Isle)). Thence a line joining this ledge with the East extreme of Cape St. Charles (52°13'N) in Labrador.


Coordinates: 61°N 56°W / 61°N 56°W / 61; -56 (Labrador Sea)



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun

Labrador Sea


Labrador Sea

  1. An arm of the North Atlantic Ocean between Greenland and Labrador.



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