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Encyclopedia > Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary is an 842-square-mile (638-square-nautical-mile) federally protected marine sanctuary located at the mouth of Massachusetts Bay, between Cape Cod and Cape Ann. It is known as a excellent whale watching site, and is home to many other species of marine life. A nautical mile is a unit of length. ... Massachusetts Bay is one of the large bays of the Atlantic Ocean that form the distinctive shape of the coastline of the U.S. state of Massachusetts. ... Cape Cod and Cape Cod Bay from space. ... Cape Ann, Massachusetts Landsat satellite photo of Cape Ann Cape Ann is a rocky peninsula located in northeastern Massachusetts on the Atlantic Ocean. ... Whale watching off the coast of Bar Harbor, Maine. ...

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Stellwagen Bank

The heart of the sanctuary is Stellwagen Bank, an underwater plateau stretching 19 miles north-to-south, and six miles across at its widest, near the southern end. The bank is, on average, 100 to 120 feet (30 to 40 meters) below the surface, while surrounding waters to the west are over 300 feet deep (100 meters) and to the northeast as deep as 600 feet (200 meters). In geology and earth science, a plateau, also called a high plateau or tableland, is an area of highland, usually consisting of relatively flat open country if the uplift was recent in geologic history. ...


The steep sides of the plateau cause deep-water currents to rise up when they hit the bank; this upwelling brings with it nutrients and minerals from the bottom, feeding the local ecosystem and attracting larger animals to the area. Whale watchers can frequently see humpback whales, Minke whales and, occasionally, fin whales. Binomial name Megaptera novaeangliae (Borowski, 1781) Humpback Whale range The Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) is a mammal which belongs to the baleen whale suborder. ... Binomial name Balaenoptera acutorostrata Lacepede, 1804 Balaenoptera bonaerensis Burmeister, 1867 Minke Whale range Antarctic Minke Whale range Dwarf Minke Whale range The Minke Whale or Lesser Rorqual is a marine mammal belonging to the suborder of baleen whales. ... Finback redirects here. ...

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History

Stellwagen Bank owes much of its existence to the last major ice age. 25,000 years ago, the Laurentide ice sheet advanced over the eastern United States, pushing in front of it large amounts of earth and rocks. The southern margin of the glaciers formed local geographical features including Cape Cod and Stellwagen Bank. Originally, the bank was above water, but gradually subsided over time as the post-glacial rebound subsided. Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ... The Laurentide ice sheet was a massive sheet of ice that covered hundreds of thousands of square miles, including most of Canada and a large portion of the northern United States, between ~ 90,000 and ~ 18,000 years before the present day. ... Cape Cod and Cape Cod Bay from space. ... Changes in the elevation of Lake Superior due to glaciation and post-glacial rebound Post-glacial rebound (sometimes called continental rebound, isostatic rebound or isostatic adjustment) is the rise of land masses that were depressed by the huge weight of ice sheets during the last ice age, through a process...


In the 17th century it was observed that the area made for excellent fishing. Large cod and tuna were frequently caught in the area, and whaling ships caught many whales in the area. (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... Species Gadus morhua Gadus macrocephalus Gadus ogahvgfgvbc 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. ... Species See text Tuna, sometimes called tunafish, are several species of ocean-dwelling fish in the family Scombridae, mostly in the genus Thunnus. ... The crew of the oceanographic research vessel Princesse Alice, of Albert Grimaldi (later Prince Albert I of Monaco) pose while flensing a catch. ...


In 1854, the US Navy sent Lieutenant Commander Henry Stellwagen to survey and map the area. It was known that there was a bank in the area, but its extent and shape were not known. Sounding could show ships how close they were to the dangerous waters of Boston Harbor, and so better maps were needed. 1854 was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... In the Royal Navy, United States Navy and United States Coast Guard, a lieutenant commander (lieutenant-commander or Lt Cdr in the RN) is a commissioned officer superior to a lieutenant and inferior to a commander. ... A sounding line or lead line is a length of thin rope with a weight, generally of lead at its end. ... Categories: Stub | Massachusetts geography | Boston ...


Prior to Stellwagen's survey, it was believed there were two small banks in the area: one just to the north of Cape Cod, and one in the middle of the entrance to Massachusetts Bay. Stellwagen showed that they were part of one large bank. As a result, the Navy named the bank after him in 1855.


In 1992, Congress designated the area a National Marine Sanctuary. Seal of the U.S. Congress. ... A U.S. National Marine Sanctuary is one of 13 protected marine ecosystems within U.S. waters. ...

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