Gulf of Alaska Article

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Gulf of Alaska
Land of the Frontier
Gulfofalaskamap.png
Gulf of Alaska
LocationSouth shore of Alaska
Coordinates 57°N 144°W / 57°N 144°W / 57; -144
GULF OF ALASKA Latitude and Longitude:

57°N 144°W / 57°N 144°W / 57; -144
Type Gulf
Part of North Pacific Ocean
River sources Susitna River
Basin countriesUnited States, Canada
Islands Kodiak Archipelago, Montague Island, Alexander Archipelago
Settlements Anchorage, Juneau
A view of the Gulf of Alaska from space. Notice the swirling sediment in the waters.

The Gulf of Alaska ( French: Golfe d'Alaska) is an arm of the Pacific Ocean defined by the curve of the southern coast of Alaska, stretching from the Alaska Peninsula and Kodiak Island in the west to the Alexander Archipelago in the east, where Glacier Bay and the Inside Passage are found.

The Gulf shoreline is a rugged combination of forest, mountain and a number of tidewater glaciers. Alaska's largest glaciers, the Malaspina Glacier and Bering Glacier, spill out onto the coastal line along the Gulf of Alaska. The coast is heavily indented with Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound, the two largest connected bodies of water. It includes Yakutat Bay and Cross Sound. Lituya Bay is the site of the largest recorded tsunami in history. It serves as a sheltered anchorage for fishing boats.

Ecology

The Gulf of Alaska is considered a Class I, productive ecosystem with more than 300 grams of carbon per square meter per year [1] based on SeaWiFS data.

Deep water corals can be found in the Gulf of Alaska. Primnoa pacifica has contributed to the location being labeled as Habitat Areas of Particular Concern. [2] P. pacifica is a deep water coral typically found between 150 metres (490 ft) and 900 metres (3,000 ft) here. [3]

Meteorology

The Gulf is a great generator of storms. In addition to dumping vast quantities of snow and ice on southern Alaska, resulting in some of the largest concentrations south of the Arctic Circle, many of the storms move south along the coasts of British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and as far south as Southern California (primarily during El Niño events). [4] Much of the seasonal rainfall and snowfall in the Pacific Northwest and Southwestern United States comes from the Gulf of Alaska.

Extent

The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Gulf of Alaska as follows: [5]

On the North. The coast of Alaska.

On the South. A line drawn from Cape Spencer, the Northern limit of the Coastal Waters of Southeast Alaska and British Columbia to Kabuch Point, the Southeast limit of the Bering Sea, in such a way that all the adjacent islands are included in the Gulf of Alaska.

The US Geological Survey's Geographic Names Information System database defines the Gulf of Alaska as bounded on the north by the coast of Alaska and on the south by a line running from the south end of Kodiak Island on the west to Dixon Entrance on the east. [6]

Islands

References

  1. ^ Hogan, C. Michael (2011). "Gulf of Alaska. Topic ed. P.Saundry. Ed.-in-chief C.J.Cleveland. Encyclopedia of Earth". National Council for Science and the Environment. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  2. ^ Stone Robert P; Shotwell S Kalei. (2007). "State of deep coral ecosystems in the Alaska Region: Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea and the Aleutian Islands" (PDF). In: Lumsden SE et Al., Eds. The State of Deep Coral Ecosystems of the United States. NOAA Technical Memorandum CRCP-3. Silver Spring, MD: 65–108. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  3. ^ Waller, RG; Stone, RP; Mondragon, J; Clark, CE (2011). "Reproduction of Red Tree Corals in the Southeastern Alaskan Fjords: Implications for Conservation and Population Turnover". In: Pollock NW, Ed. Diving for Science 2011. Proceedings of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences 30th Symposium. Dauphin Island, AL: AAUS; 2011. Retrieved June 13, 2013.
  4. ^ National Geospatial-intelligence Agency (2006). Prostar Sailing Directions 2006 Pacific Ocean and Southeast Ocean Planning Guides. Pub. (United States. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency). Prostar Publications. p. 241. ISBN  978-1-57785-663-4. Retrieved 26 November 2018.
  5. ^ "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition" (PDF). International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved February 7, 2010.
  6. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Gulf of Alaska

External links