Bay of Bengal

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Bengal, Bay of,

arm of the Indian Ocean, c.1,300 mi (2,090 km) long and 1,000 mi (1,610 km) wide, bordered on the W by Sri Lanka and India, on the N by Bangladesh, and on the E by Myanmar and Thailand; the Andaman and Nicobar Islands separate it from the Andaman Sea, its eastern arm. The bay receives many large rivers including the Ayeyarwady, Ganges-Brahmaputra, Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna, and Kaveri, all forming fertile, heavily populated deltas. Sediment from the rivers has made the bay a shallow sea, and the waters have reduced the salinity of surface waters along the shore. Monsoon rains and destructive cyclone storms have caused great loss of life along the bay's northern coast. The main ports are Vishakhapatnam, Paradip, Chennai (Madras), and Kolkata (Calcutta), India; Chittagong, Bangladesh; and Sittwe, Myanmar.


See S. S. Amrith, Crossing the Bay of Bengal (2013).

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bengal, Bay of


a bay in the Indian Ocean, between the Indian peninsula on the west and the Indochina peninsula and the Andaman and Nicobar islands on the east. It has an area of 2,172,000 sq km, an average depth of 2,586 m; and an average volume of 5,616,000 cu km. Its greatest depth is 5,258 m. The average water temperature in February is 25°–27° C and in August, 28° C (in May, 29° C). The salinity ranges from 30 parts per thousand (°/oo) and less near the mouth of the Ganges River to 34% in the south. Tides are semidiurnal and reach as high as 10.7 m. The main ports are Calcutta in the Ganges delta and Madras (India) and Chittagong (Chatagam, Bangladesh).

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