Fonseca, Gulf of

Fonseca, Gulf of

(fōnsā`kä), inlet of the Pacific Ocean, c.700 sq mi (1,810 sq km), c.50 mi (80 km) long and c.30 mi (50 km) wide, W Central America. In a volcanic area, it is a natural shallow harbor shared by Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador. It receives the Choluteca River, among others. La Unión, in El Salvador, and Henecán, in Honduras, are the chief ports. Nicaragua leased (1916) a site for a naval base on the gulf to the United States as an adjunct of the Nicaragua Canal, causing protests from El Salvador. Upheld by the Central American Court of Justice, the protests were ignored by the United States and Nicaragua. The first European to explore (1522) the gulf was Gil González de ÁvilaGonzález de Ávila, Gil
, d. 1543, Spanish conquistador. Despite the opposition of Pedro Arias de Ávila, he conquered Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua in 1522. He then fled to the island of Hispaniola to avoid trouble with Arias de Ávila.
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, a Spaniard.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Fonseca, Gulf of

 

an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Central America, bordered by El Salvador and Honduras. It is 74 km long and 35 km wide at the entrance. Its depths range to 27 m. Tides are semidiurnal and have a height of 4.4 m. The gulf’s main port is La Unión, in El Salvador.

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