Strait of Gibraltar


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Gibraltar, Strait of

(jĭbrôl`tər), Lat. Fretum Herculeum or Fretum Gaditanum, passage, c.36 mi (58 km) long, connecting the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, between southernmost Spain and northwesternmost Africa. Its western limits are Cape Trafalgar (Spain) and Cape Spartel (Morocco); its eastern limits Gibraltar and Point Almina (just E of Ceuta, NW Africa). The strait's width ranges from 8 mi (12.9 km) off Point Marroquí to 27 mi (43 km) at the western entrance. The surface current in the strait flows east from the Atlantic; a countercurrent flows out from the Mediterranean at greater depth. The two promontories at the eastern entrance are the classical Pillars of HerculesPillars of Hercules,
ancient mythological name for promontories flanking the east entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. They are usually identified with Gibraltar in Europe and with Mt. Acha at Ceuta in Africa. The Jebel Musa (W of Ceuta) is also considered one of the pillars.
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Gibraltar, Strait of

 

a strait between the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula (Europe) and the northwestern part of Africa joining the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It is 65 km long, 14-44 km wide, and has a depth of up to 388 m along the fairway (the deepest part measures 1,181 m). There are massifs on both shores of the strait: the Rock of Gibraltar on the north side and the Jebel Musa on the south. In ancient times these were called the Pillars of Hercules. The surface current flows eastward, while the deeper current flows westward. In the surface current the mean annual flow of Atlantic Ocean water into the Mediterranean is 55,198 cu km; the average temperature is 17° C, and the salinity is more than 36 parts per thousand. In the deeper current, the average annual flow of Mediterranean water into the Atlantic is 51,886 cu km; the average temperature is 13.5° C, and the salinity is 38 parts per thousand. The difference of 3,312 cu km is mainly caused by evaporation from the Mediterranean’s surface.

Because of its favorable geographic position, the Strait of Gibraltar has great economic and strategic significance; it is controlled by the English fortress of Gilbraltar. The Spanish seaport of La Línea is located on the northern shore.

References in periodicals archive ?
Cores drilled in the seafloor in preparation for the Africa-Europe tunnel project, which would run trains under the Strait of Gibraltar, revealed a deep channel filled with loose sediment.
Possible explanations for how and why the disease starts are, among others, pollutants (11), the high intensive chronic anthropogenic effects in the Strait of Gibraltar area, a DMV entering a naive pilot whale population, or a progressive decreasing of humoral immunity against the virus in these populations (12).
The Phoenician navigators, who had made themselves at home the length and breadth of the Mediterranean over the past six centuries, even ventured through what we now call the Strait of Gibraltar and into the Atlantic Ocean.
Summary: TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior member of the Iranian Parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission lauded his country's dealing with UK's illegal detention of a super tanker in the Strait of Gibraltar, and said that London's final defeat in the case was owed to the belief to resistance and Revolutionary values.
"Unlike the piracy in the Strait of Gibraltar, our action in the Persian Gulf is to uphold int'l maritime rules.
The rescue service says the migrants were taken by three maritime rescue ships to Spain's southern town of Tarifa, located across the Strait of Gibraltar from Morocco.
He first swam from Europe to Africa (Spain-Morocco) last year in July through the Strait of Gibraltar. This successful venture prompted him to embark on the project which continued this July when he swam from Asia-Europe (Turkey) through the Strait of Bosporus.
Which African country lies immediately south of the Strait of Gibraltar? 5.
Ocean's Seven, according to Adam Walker's Web site, is a group of seven long distance swims across the globe, including the Irish Channel, Cook Strait, Molokai Channel, English Channel, Catalina Channel, Tsugaru Strait and the Strait of Gibraltar.