Bering Strait

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Bering Strait

Bering Strait, c.55 mi (90 km) wide, between extreme NE Asia and extreme NW North America, connecting the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Sea. It is usually completely frozen over from October to June. The Diomede Islands are in the strait. The narrowness of the strait makes it possible for small boats to cross from Chukchi Peninsula, NE Russia, to Seward Peninsula in Alaska. The strait is named for the Danish explorer Vitus Bering, who traversed it in 1728.

During the Ice Age, Alaska and Siberia were connected by land where the strait now is, and many archaeologists believe that ancestors of Native Americans crossed the land bridge to North America. Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, on the Seward Peninsula, is a remnant of the land bridge (see National Parks and Monuments, table). See also Americas, antiquity and prehistory of the.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bering Strait

 

a strait between Asia and North America joining the Arctic Ocean (Chukchi Sea) and the Pacific Ocean (Bering Sea). Its width ranges from 35 to 86 km and its depth reaches 42 m. The Diomede Islands divide it into three passages. Warmer surface water from the Bering Sea crosses the strait to the north, and cold water from the Arctic Ocean crosses the south in the western coastal zone. The strait is covered with drifting ice from October to August. The state border between the USSR and the USA passes through the strait between the Diomede islands. During the Anthropogenic period, land bridges between Eurasia and North America developed more than once on the site of the Bering Strait. The Bering Strait was first crossed by the cossack S. I. Dezhnev and by F. A. Popov (better known in the literature by his patronymic F. Alekseev) during a trading expedition in 1648. It was later crossed in 1728 by the Russian expedition led by V. Bering, by whose name it is known. Portions of the coast were first charted in 1732 by I. Fedorov and M. Gvozdev.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bering Strait

a strait between Alaska and Russia, connecting the Bering Sea and the Arctic Ocean
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005