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 Strait of Gibraltar is the strait which separates the Atlantic Ocean from the Mediterranean Sea.
For this reason barotropic processes induced only by the inflow through the Strait of Gibraltar have not been studied intensively.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Scientists discovered a relationship between climate change and ocean currents over the past six million years after analyzing an area of the Atlantic near the Strait of Gibraltar.
He has made it across the English Channel, Strait of Gibraltar, Molokai Channel, Catalina Channel and Tsugaru Channel, according to reports.
These consist of the steadily expanding TransMed gas pipeline from Algeria to Italy, which passes through Tunisia, and the pipeline from Algeria to Spain which passes through Morocco and the Strait of Gibraltar.
Tangier is a city in northern Morocco located on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean.
The migrants were trying to cross the 13-kilometre stretch of water separating Spain from Morocco at the Strait of Gibraltar.
Builder Rob Marsland, 47, of Calderstones, swam the Strait of Gibraltar to raise money for the Linda McCartney Centre just days before wife Tricia had an operation to remove a lump in her breast.
In past months he swam between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia to link Oceania with Asia, across the shark-infested Red Sea to link Africa to Asia, and across the Strait of Gibraltar between Europe and Africa.
in 2006 he swam across the english Channel and two years later the strait of Gibraltar.