Strait of Magellan

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Magellan, Strait of,

c.330 mi (530 km) long and 2 1-2 to 15 mi (4–24 km) wide, separating South America from Tierra del FuegoTierra del Fuego
, [Span.,=land of fire], archipelago, 28,476 sq mi (73,753 sq km), off S South America, separated from the mainland by the Strait of Magellan. It consists of one large island (sometimes called simply Tierra del Fuego), five medium-sized islands, and numerous
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 and other islands south of the continent. Except for a few miles at its eastern end in Argentina, it passes through Chile. The strait, discovered by Ferdinand MagellanMagellan, Ferdinand
, Port. Fernão de Magalhães, Span. Fernando de Magallanes, c.1480–1521, Portuguese navigator who sailed for Portugal and Spain. Born of a noble family, he was reared as a page in the royal household.
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 in 1520, was important in the days of sailing ships, especially before the building of the Panama CanalPanama Canal,
waterway across the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Atlantic (by way of the Caribbean Sea) and Pacific oceans, built by the United States (1904–14, on territory leased from the republic of Panama) and expanded by Pamana (2007–16).
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, and is still used by ships rounding South America. One of the most scenic waterways in the world, it affords an inland passage protected from almost continuous ocean storms. However, the strait is often foggy. The major city on the strait is Punta Arenas, on the mainland.

Magellan, Strait of


a strait between the mainland of South America and the Tierra del Fuego archipelago, joining the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The coastline belongs to Chile. The strait is about 550 km long and 3.3 km wide at its narrowest point and has a minimum depth in the channel of 31-33 m. The northwestern part is the narrower, more winding, and deeper, with a steep, rocky coast from which glaciers descend into the water. The northeastern part is broader and shallower, with low lagoon banks. Navigation is treacherous because of strong westerly winds and numerous underwater rocks and shoals. In the narrows the tidal currents reach 25 km/hr. The chief port is Punta Arenas. The strait was discovered and first crossed by F. Magellan in 1520.

References in periodicals archive ?
Santana (1998) observed that population spawning in the Straits of Magellan began in October and finished in March (toward the end of the southern summer).
00pm) Disaster strikes the HMS Endurance as it reaches the Straits of Magellan, Chile, where a burst valve in the engine room begins flooding the ship.
Disaster strikes as the ship reaches the Straits of Magellan, off the southern coast of Chile when a routine maintenance check descends into chaos and gallons of water flood into the engine room.
Work is under way to build a natural gas pipeline to connect two areas near the Straits of Magellan in southern Argentina, according to the country's gas regulator, Enargas.
From the Straits of Magellan in the Pacific, Americas takes you over to the other side of the continent through the Atlantic and all the way over to Haiti.
After navigating the archipelago on the southern tip of South America via a route now known as the Straits of Magellan, instead of being faced with severe weather associated with the region, the crew of the Armada de Moluccas found the conditions to be favourable.
Other firsts for Cox include being the first woman to swim the Cook Strait in New Zealand, the first person to swim the Straits of Magellan in Chile, and the first to swim around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, where she had a close call with a shark that was shot by a crew member as it emerged from the water toward her.
I taught at the officer and enlisted levels, and practiced naval surface EW from the Straits of Magellan to Hong Kong to Desert Shield/Storm.
It will then pass around South America's Cape Horn and sail into the Straits of Magellan.
Schultz confines his study to those who left the east or gulf coasts in 1849 on sailing vessels and voyaged to California by going around Cape Horn or through the Straits of Magellan.
The fleet then sailed through the Straits of Magellan and found themselves in the Pacific, when, due to stormy weather, the fleet was reduced to only one ship, Drake's The Golden Hinde.
Farther south, near the Straits of Magellan and northeastern Patagonia, the wind is generally too strong for trees to grow tall, and there are vast areas of tussock grass steppeland.