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Nares Strait (boxed), lying between Ellesmere Island (Nunavut, Canada) and Greenland.      Nunavut      Greenland      Northwest Territories

Nares Strait (Danish: Nares Strædet; 80°N 70°W / 80°N 070°W / 80; -070 (Nares Strait)Coordinates: 80°N 70°W / 80°N 070°W / 80; -070 (Nares Strait)) is a waterway lying between Ellesmere Island (the most northerly part of Nunavut, Canada) and Greenland. It links Baffin Bay with the Lincoln Sea in the Arctic Ocean. From south to north, the strait consists of Smith Sound, Kane Basin, Kennedy Channel, Hall Basin and Robeson Channel.

In 1964, its name, from the British naval officer George Strong Nares, was agreed by the Danish (Stednavneudvalget, now Stednavnenævnet) and Canadian governments.

The strait and neighbouring waters are usually hazardous for navigation and shipping. During August, however, it is usually navigable by icebreakers. Prior to 1948, only five vessels were recorded as having successfully navigated north of Kane Basin. In 2009 the ship Arctic Sunrise made the first known June transit into the Arctic Ocean.[1]

Hans Island, a tiny island lying within the strait, is claimed by both Denmark (on behalf of Greenland) and Canada.

Notes & references

Further reading

  • Dawes, Peter R., and J. William Kerr. Nares Strait and the Drift of Greenland A Conflict in Plate Tectonics. Meddelelser om Grønland, 8. Copenhagen: [s.n.], 1982.
  • Münchow, Andreas, Humfrey Melling, and Kelly K. Falkner. 2006. "An Observational Estimate of Volume and Freshwater Flux Leaving the Arctic Ocean Through Nares Strait". Journal of Physical Oceanography. 36, no. 11: 2025-2041.
  • Sadler, H. E. 1976. Water, Heat and Salt Transports Through Nares Strait, Ellesmere Island. "Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada", 33, 2286-2295..
  • Zreda, M, J England, F Phillips, D Elmore, and P Sharma. 1999. "Unblocking of the Nares Strait by Greenland and Ellesmere Ice-Sheet Retreat 10,000 Years Ago". Nature. 398, no. 6723: 139.


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