What Is The Difference Between A Bay And A Sound?

A sound is an inlet of the ocean substantially larger than a bay and it may be less protected. Sounds are often characterized by large open spaces of water. A bay on the other hand is an inlet of water enclosed on three sides by the land.

Sounds and bays are both indentations in the shoreline along an ocean that take the form of naturally protected harbors. They are formed by glaciers, erosion, and sometimes the hand of man. The terms are often used interchangeably, and there are no governing rules about naming such places in English, other than convention.

The habit of using the terms interchangeably, however, can be confusing to people who are trying to get a mental image of the geographic feature under discussion. There are a few small differences between the two that can help distinguish a sound from a bay.

What Is a Sound in Geography?

In geography, a sound is a smaller body of water typically connected to larger sea or ocean. There is little consistency in the use of “sound” in English-language place names. It can refer to an inlet, deeper than a bight and wider than a fjord, or a narrow sea or ocean channel between two bodies of land (similar to a strait), or it can refer to the lagoon located between a barrier island and the mainland.

A sound is a marine geographic formation, which is located along coastlines around the world. It is characterized as an inlet of seawater that diverts from the main ocean and may take one of two forms. In the first form, the sound is formed by seawater that moves inland by way of a river valley, creating a type of harbor that is surrounded by tall hills and mountains.

In the second form, the seawater may completely separate an area of land from a larger land mass, forming an island near the shore. In many cases, a sound is filled with several islands. The difference between these types of sounds is the number of entrances.

The term sound is often used interchangeably with other geographic terms, such as a bay or fjord. As previously mentioned, a sound may be formed when a river valley is flooded by seawater. It may also occur as the result of glacial erosion. The mountains sides reach far below the surface of the water. When the sound is located inland, the point further away from the ocean is often deeper than the area located closer to the open water.

What is A Bay in Geography?

A bay is a body of water partially surrounded by land. A bay is usually smaller and less enclosed than a gulf. The mouth of the bay, where meets the ocean or lake, is typically wider than that of a gulf.

In naming bays and gulfs, people have not always made these distinctions. The Persian Gulf, for example, is much smaller than Hudson Bay, Canada.

Bays can also be called lagoons, sounds, and bights. Lagos, the capital of Nigeria, is a bayside city. It sits on Lagos Lagoon, on the Bight of Benin, in the Gulf of Guinea, in the Atlantic Ocean. Bays form in many ways. Plate tectonics, the process of continents drifting together and rifting apart, causes the formation of many large bays.

Bays can be formed in various ways. They also vary in size depending on the nature of their formation; large bays are normally associated with plate tectonics. Some of the world’s largest bays are the Gulf of Mexico, Gulf of Guinea, and the Bay of Bengal.

These bays were as a result of the Pangaea supercontinent breaking up, leaving behind large depressions filled with sea water forming large bays. The breakage occurred along the indented curved fault lines making the continents move apart and left behind large bays.

Another way in which bays form is through erosion of the coast by glaciers and rivers. A fjord is a type of bay that is formed by a glacier. On the other hand, bays formed by river erosion are known as rias and are made up of many gradual slopes. Bays are mostly formed through the erosion of deposits of softer rocks. Due to the less erosion of harder rocks, headlands are left behind.

What Are the Largest Bays in the World?

The Bay of Bengal, the largest bay in the world, was formed by plate tectonics. Millions of years ago, the Indian subcontinent crashed—and continues to crash—into the massive Eurasian plate network. The Indian plate is subducting beneath the small Burma plate, forming the Sundra Trench. Because plate tectonics remains an active force in the Bay of Bengal today, the region is home to underwater earthquakes and tsunamis.

Hudson Bay is the second largest and covers 470,000 miles at its surface in Canada. This bay is home to over 50,000 beluga whales during the warm summer months. Hudson Bay has a small bay off its southern edge named James Bay which is where Henry Hudson and a group of explorers struggled to survive the winter during the early 1600s while trying to find a trade route to the Indies.

Which Are the Most Well-Known Bays?

Bays are also formed when the ocean overflows a coastline. Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong, was formed as the South China Sea overflowed the coastline of the Kowloon Peninsula. Today, Kowloon Bay has been almost entirely reclaimed from the sea. Kowloon Bay is a major industrial and financial area and was home to Hong Kong’s airport until a new facility was built in 1998.

Another well-known coastal bay is New York Bay. New York Bay is actually two bays (Upper New York Bay and Lower New York Bay) connected by a strait called The Narrows. New York Bay is where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean.

Many bays are formed as the coastline erodes into the ocean. Guanabara Bay, for example, was formed as the Atlantic Ocean eroded an inlet in South America. Today, Guanabara Bay, also known as the Harbor of Rio de Janerio, Brazil, is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

A type of bay known as a ria is actually an estuary that has been taken over by the ocean. (An estuary is the mouth of a river.) Rias are often called “drowned rivers.” The Chesapeake Bay, on the East Coast of the United States, is one of the world’s largest rias. It is the drowned mouth of the Susquehanna River.

Fjords are narrow bays formed by glaciers. A glacier slices through the bedrock of an area, leaving a long, steep canyon when it recedes. The sea seeps into the inlet, forming a fjord. Bays can also be found along the shores of lakes. Georgian Bay, for example, is a prominent bay in Lake Huron, one of North America’s Great Lakes. Georgian Bay is located in Ontario, Canada.

Freshwater Bay is a bay on the Swan River, near the busy urban area of Perth, Australia. Freshwater Bay has been a center of trade and transportation along the river for centuries.

What Is the Difference Between a Bay and A Sound?

A sound is an inlet of the ocean substantially larger than a bay and it may be less protected. Sounds are often characterized by large open spaces of water. A bay on the other hand is an inlet of water enclosed on three sides by the land.

A sound can be deeper than a bay and is certainly deeper than a bight, a name for a shallow ocean inlet. It is also substantially wider than a fjord, an inlet formed along a shoreline by retreating glaciers.

The mouth of a bay may be narrower than the bay itself, as in the San Francisco Bay, or it can be much wider, gaping out into the open ocean. The Bay of Biscay, for example, has a very wide mouth, but it is still recognizably surrounded on three sides by land. Bays also tend to be shallower than sounds, and some of them have to be dredged to admit ship traffic.

Both bodies of water are important geographical features, especially for sailors. Many fishing communities base their fleets in sounds and bays so that their ships will be protected, and sailors looking for anchor take advantage of the sheltered environment to take a rest from the open ocean. Major port cities are almost universally located along the shoreline of either a sound or a bay, to facilitate a large area for docking so that the city’s trade can thrive.