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Encyclopedia > Great Belt
The straits of Denmark. Great Belt is the passage in the center.
The straits of Denmark. Great Belt is the passage in the center.

The Great Belt (Danish:Storebælt) is a strait between the main Danish islands of Zealand and Funen. Since 1997 the islands have been connected by the Great Belt Bridge. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1905x1420, 369 KB) Satellite image of Denmark in July 2001. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1905x1420, 369 KB) Satellite image of Denmark in July 2001. ... Simplified diagram A strait is a narrow channel of water that connects two larger bodies of water, and thus lies between two land masses. ... Zealand (Danish: Sjælland ) is the largest island of Denmark. ... Funen (Danish: Fyn) is the second largest island of Denmark, it has a population of 445,000 people. ... 1997 (MCMXCVII in Roman) is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Great Belt Bridge The Great Belt Bridge (Danish: Storebæltsbroen) is a suspension bridge that is part of the fixed link across the Great Belt in Denmark. ...

Contents


Geography

The Great Belt is the major of the three straits of Denmark that connect the Kattegat to the Baltic Sea. The others are listed below under See also. The Baltic Sea The Kattegat (Danish), or Kattegatt (Swedish), is a bay of the North Sea and a continuation of the Skagerrak, bounded by Denmark and Sweden. ... The Baltic Sea is located in Northern Europe, from 53 deg. ...


The Great Belt is 40 miles (60 kilometers) long and 10-20 mi. (16-32 km.) wide. It flows around two major islands: Sprogø in the north and Langeland to the south. At Sprogø the Great Belt divides into East Channel and West Channel. Both East and West are traversed by the Great Belt Bridge, but a tunnel runs under the East also.


Geology

In pre-glacial times, a river, which the Baltic Sea basin contained then, must have passed through the region. So also did the Eemian sea, just prior to the last glaciation, which covered the entire region with ice thousands of feet thick. Today's topography is totally post-glacial. The Great Belt was eroded into existence by streams passing between the Baltic sea basin and the Kattegat. Currently it is a drowned channel. The Eemian sea was a body of water located approximately where the Baltic sea is now during the last or Eemian interglacial, MIS 5e, roughly 130,000 to 115,000 BP. Sea level was 5 to 7 meters higher globally than it is today, due to the prior release of...


Beneath the surface it is possible to speak of northern and southern thresholds. The northern consists of two v-shaped cuts more than 50 m deep. The southern is a relatively shallow bottom, 30 m deep, showing the tops of riverine and lacustrine sediments. This configuration gives evidence that for most of its life the Great Belt hosted an outward, downhill flow.


The north threshold is located in the sea off the north coast of Zeeland. The southern is just south of Langeland, leading into the Kieler bucht, or Bay of Kiel. The Fremerbaelt then connects the Bay of Kiel to the Lübecker bucht, or Bay of Lübeck to the south of Lolland. The Bay of Lübeck is open to the Baltic sea. Kiel [keel, (help· info)] is a city in northern Germany and the capital of the Bundesland Schleswig-Holstein. ... Lübeck ( pronunc. ... Lolland (formerly spelled Laaland) is the fourth largest island of Denmark, with an area of some 1,243 square kilometers. ...


The current channel of the Great Belt was created by a relatively high fresh water phase of the rising Yoldia sea breaking through to lower Kattegat levels at about 10,000 BP. At that time the exposed northern threshold was a velley less than 1 km wide. Yoldia sea is a name given by geologists to a variable brackish-water stage in the Baltic sea basin that prevailed after draining of Baltic ice lake had reduced the lake level to then sea level. ...


Yoldia sea continued to drain and Kattegat levels continued to rise. By 9500 BC the outward flow stopped and the sea began to transgress into the enlarged Great Belt, turning it brackish very slowly. During the Ancylus lake phase, 9500-8000 BP, the Great Belt was an extension of the Kattegat. At the end of that time rising Kattegat levels broke into Ancylus lake, creating Littorina sea. Ancylus lake is a name given by geologists to the body of fresh water that replaced the Yoldia sea after the latter had been severed from its saline intake across central Sweden by the isostatic rise of south Scandinavian landforms. ...


Biology

The Great Belt is home to some popular fish: flatfish, sea trout, cod and garfish, which are fished avidly for sport and for sale to consumers. Families Suborder Psettodoidei     Psettodoidae Suborder Pleuronectoidei     Citharidae     Scophthalmidae     Bothidae (lefteye flounders)     Pleuronectidae (righteye flounders)     Paralichthyidae     Achiropsettidae (southern flounders)     Samaridae Suborder Soleoidei     Soleidae (soles)     Achiridae (American soles)     Cynoglossidae (tonguefishes) The flatfish are an order (Pleuronectiformes) of ray-finned fish, also called the Heterosomata, sometimes classified as a suborder of Perciformes. ... Trinomial name Salmo trutta fario Salmo trutta trutta The Brown Trout (Salmo trutta fario) and the Sea Trout (Salmo trutta trutta) are subspecies distinguished chiefly by the fact that the Brown Trout is largely a freshwater fish, while the Sea Trout shows anadromous reproduction, spawning in fresh water but migrating... Species Gadus morhua Gadus macrocephalus Gadus ogac Cod surfacing This article is about codfish; for other meanings, see COD. Cod is the common name for the genus Gadus of fish, belonging to the family Gadidae, and is also used in the common name of a variety of other fishes. ... Binomial name Belone belone Garfish (Belone belone) are a pelagic, oceanodromous needlefish found in brackish and marine waters of the Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea. ...


International Waterway

The Great Belt was navigable to ocean-going vessels in history and, despite a few collisions and near collisions with the bridge, still is. The Danish navy finds it necessary to keep a watchful eye on ships passing through.


In history the Danish government supported itself largely from tolls levied from through traffic under threat of sinking. In the 19th century this practice became so troublesome that the Danish government gave it up. The Copenhagen Convention of 1857 made the Danish straits an International waterway. 1857 was a common year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... The Danish straits are the three channels connecting the North Sea through the Kattegat and Skagerrak to the Baltic sea. ... The terms international waters or transboundary waters apply where any of the following types of bodies of water (or their drainage basins) transcend international boundaries: oceans, large marine ecosystems, enclosed or semi-enclosed regional seas and estuaries, rivers, lakes, groundwater systems (aquifers), and wetlands [1]. Oceans and seas, waters outside...


See also

Categories: Straits of Europe | Stub ... Denmark (red) / south Sweden (yellow), connected with the Oresund Bridge. ...

External links


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The Great Belt Fixed Link (Danish: Den faste Storebæltsforbindelse) is the fixed link between the Danish islands of Zealand and Funen across the Great Belt.
The "Great Belt Bridge" (Danish: Storebæltsbroen) commonly refers to the suspension bridge, although it may also be used to mean the beam bridge or the link in its entirety.
Environmental considerations were the reason why the Great Belt A/S established an environmental monitoring programme in 1988, and initiated co-operation with authorities and external consultants on the definition of environmental concerns during the construction work and the professional requirements to the monitoring programme.
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