English Channel – WorldAtlas

The Atlantic Ocean is an S-shaped ocean extending from the Arctic to Antarctica. It’s positioned between the Americas to the west and Africa and Europe to the east. The ocean has quite a few seas or arms of various sizes, of which 40 seas span not less than 15,000 km2. The English Channel, additionally identified merely as “the Channel,” is the Atlantic’s thirtieth largest arm, protecting roughly 75,000 km2. It is likely one of the world’s busiest delivery areas, linking southern England, the UK to northern France.

The present title, “English Channel,” dates again to the 18th century. Earlier than then, the English largely referred to the waterway as a “Slender Sea.” Nonetheless, there was no fastened title for the English Channel in both French or English. The present title might have been derived from the channel’s designation as Engelse Kanaal in Dutch Sea Maps. However the fashionable Dutch sea map refers to it as Het Kanaal, with out the point out of the phrase “English.”

The English Channel was additionally identified by a number of different names, together with British Sea, British Channel, Oceanus Britannicus (by Ptolemy), and Canalite Anglie (“English Channel” by the Italians). The French check with the Channel as “la Manche” due to its sleevelike form.

The place Is The English Channel?

English Channel map
English Channel 

The English Channel is positioned between the Isle of Nice Britain’s southern coast and France’s northern coast and separated from the North Sea on the north by the Strait of Dover. The Strait of Dover is the Channel’s narrowest level at simply 34 km2 from Cape Gris-Nez to Dover. The Worldwide Hydrographic Group defines the English Channel’s western restrict as a line operating from Land’s Finish, England to Isle Vierge, France. The jap restrict is outlined because the North Sea’s southwestern restrict. Some cities on the English Channel are Calais, Dover, Isle of Wight, and the Island of Jersey.


Mont St. Michel, France, is an island within the English Channel.

The English Channel is a shallow waterway with a most depth of 174 m within the Hurd’s Deep underwater valley and a mean depth of 63 m. It’s 560 km lengthy, with a various width between 34 and 240 km on the widest level between Saint-Malo Gulf, France and Lyme Bay, England.

A number of islands dot the English Channel, with the most important ones together with the Isle of Wight, Mont Saint-Michel, the Channel Islands, and Chausey. The channel has sturdy tides starting from lower than one meter to over six meters. The strongest tides are noticed on Brittany’s north coast, Channel Islands, and the Cotentin Peninsula’s west coast. The central elements expertise semidiurnal tides (two highs and two lows per day), which facilitates the motion of ships at Southampton.

Earlier than the tip of the newest ice age, the British Isles have been joined to continental Europe, forming one giant mass. Ice coated the complete British Isles and the North Sea, with the ocean degree being 120 m decrease than the present degree. Because the ice sheet melted, a lake shaped within the Doggerland space (North Sea’s southern half). Two catastrophic glacial lake outburst floods, between 450,000 years and 180,000 years in the past, breached the ice, ensuing within the English Channel formation. The channel was widened additional by the erosion of white cliffs, a course of that’s nonetheless ongoing.

Local weather

The English Channel’s local weather could be described as a temperate maritime local weather, with heat summers and chilly winters. The channel doesn’t expertise an excessive local weather, that means that it may be visited at any time of the yr. August is the channel’s warmest month, whereas the coldest month is January. Nonetheless, November is the wettest month, with December and January being the driest months. The floor temperature varies, starting from 45 °F in February to 61 °F in September. Annual precipitation averages 700-1000 mm. Though gales can blow in any path, they generally originate from the west or southwest.

Financial Significance

Passenger ferries docked at Dover, Kent, UK on the English Channel.

The English Channel is the world’s busiest delivery route, serving over 500 ships day by day. It accounts for as much as 20% of the worldwide maritime commerce and connects the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea. The channel serves each freight and passenger site visitors. The depth of the ship site visitors and frequent accidents have led to the set up of the Dover Site visitors Separation Scheme (TSS) in 1967.

Sandy seashores, favorable local weather, and availability of ferry providers have facilitated tourism development on the English Channel. Coastal areas similar to Deauville (France) and Brighton (England) have trendy resorts relationship again to the 18th and nineteenth centuries. Channel-hopping is a well-liked tourism exercise that entails channel crossing for leisure.

Channel Crossing

As a slender waterway, a number of individuals have crossed the English Channel utilizing numerous creative applied sciences. Nonetheless, quite a few ferry routes join England to France, of which the shortest is Dover-Calais. A number of individuals additionally cross channel utilizing an underground Channel Tunnel. The tunnel passes beneath the channel and connects the 2 nations by rail. Its development started in 1974 and was opened to the general public in 1994.

The channel was first crossed by air in 1785 by John Jeffries and Jean-Pierre Blanchard utilizing a sizzling air balloon. A century later, Matthew Webb turned the primary particular person to swim throughout the channel, taking 21 hours and 45 minutes. On August 6, 1926, Gertrude Ederle swam throughout the channel in 14 hours, breaking the earlier file by two hours. She was additionally the primary girl to swim throughout the channel.  

Map of the English Channel and Strait of Dover. 

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