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fiord(fyôrd), steep-sided inlet of the sea characteristic of glaciated regions. Fjords probably resulted from the scouring by glaciers of valleys formed by any of several processes, including faulting and erosion by running water. When the regions occupied by these glaciers subsided, the valleys were drowned by the sea. The fjord coast lines of Norway, Scotland, Greenland, Alaska, British Columbia, S Chile, S New Zealand, and Antarctica are examples. A fjord differs from most estuaries in its sheer, parallel walls, often extending far below the water surface, and in its many branches of similar form. Often shallow at the mouth, fjords are frequently very deep farther inland. Sognafjord (Norway) is 4,000 ft (1,220 m) deep and over 100 mi (160 km) long. Loch Moran, Scotland (1,017 ft/310 m), is a typical fjord but is separated from the sea. Norwegian fjords are noted for their grandeur.
a narrow, winding, deep inlet in a mountainous coast. Its length is often dozens of times greater than its width. The sides of fjords are steep, even vertical, becoming less steep in the upper walls; the floor is highly irregular. The longest known fjord, Sognafjorden, is 204 km long, 1.5–6 km wide, and up to 1,208 m deep. Fjords are often separated from the open sea by a sill. They represent ancient erosion or tectonic valleys that underwent scouring by mountain glaciers, which deepened the floor, and that were subsequently inundated by postglacial transgression. Fjords are found only at high latitudes where Pleistocene glaciers formed or modern glaciers exist; they are found on the coasts of Norway, Spitsbergen, Greenland, the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Novaia Zemlia, Taimyr, the Chukchi Peninsula, New Zealand, and Patagonia.