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Beaufort Sea(bō`fərt), part of the Arctic Ocean, N of Alaska and Canada, between Point Barrow, Alaska, and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. The Mackenzie River flows into the sea, which is always covered with pack ice. It was first explored by the Canadian Vilhjalmur StefanssonStefansson, Vilhjalmur
, 1879–1962, Arctic explorer, b. Canada, of Icelandic parents, educated at the Univ. of North Dakota, the State Univ. of Iowa, and Harvard. He led several expeditions of exploration and of ethnological and archaeological investigation in the Arctic.
..... Click the link for more information. in 1914.
a sea bordering the Arctic Ocean on the shores of North America between Point Barrow and the shores of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Area, 476,000 sq km. Maximum depth, 4,683 m; average depth, 1,004 m. For the most part the Beaufort Sea covers the continental shelf. The currents form a cyclone-like vortex. In August on the southern periphery of this vortex motion, water that is heated to a temperature of 4° C and has a salinity of about 28 parts per thousand is carried eastward; on the northern periphery, arctic water with a temperature of 1.5° C and salinity of about 32 parts per thousand is carried westward. The Beaufort Sea is covered all year by ice; the ice edge retreats to a distance of 50–100 km from the shore in August. The Mackenzie River empties into the Beaufort Sea. The sea was named for the English admiral F. Beaufort.