Strait - Terminology

Terminology

The terms channel, firth, pass or passage, kyle and sound can be synonymous and used interchangeably with strait, although each is sometimes differentiated with varying senses. Many straits are economically important. Straits can be important shipping routes, and wars have been fought for control of these straits.

Numerous artificial channels, called canals, have been constructed to connect two bodies of water over land, such as the Suez Canal. Although rivers and canals often provide passage between two large lakes or a lake and a sea, and these seem to suit the formal definition of straits, they are not usually referred to as such. The term strait is typically reserved for much larger, wider features of the marine environment. There are exceptions, with straits being called canals, Pearse Canal, for example.

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