Gulf of Riga
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|Gulf of Riga|
Location in Northern Europe.
|Settlements||Riga, Jūrmala, Pärnu, Kuressaare, Salacgrīva, Saulkrasti, Ainaži|
The area of the Gulf of Riga is about 18,000 km². The maximum depth is 67 m. The island of Saaremaa (Estonia) partially separates it from the rest of the Baltic Sea. The main exit out of the gulf is the Irbe Strait. Ruhnu island, in the middle of the gulf, also belongs to Estonia.
The International Hydrographic Organization defines its western limit as "A line running from Lyser Ort (57°34'N), in Latvia, to the S extreme of Œsel Island, through this island to Pammerort (22°34'E), thence to Enmast Point, the S extreme of Dagö, through Dagö to Takhkona Point, the N extreme thereof, and on to Spithamn Point in Estonia".1
In winter, most or all of the Bay usually freezes. This is due to low salinity and the calming effect of the partial closure of the entrance of the gulf. This allows people to walk over the bay. The thickest recorded ice was 90 cm in 1941-42.3 Ice hole fishing has been a traditional source of winter food. It remains a common activity. The ice usually melts between March and April. In late March 2013, when the ice started to melt, 200 people had to be rescued from ice floes.4
- "Limits of Oceans and Seas, 3rd edition". International Hydrographic Organization. 1953. Retrieved 6 February 2010.
- C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Gulf of Riga. Encyclopedia of Earth. Eds. P.Saundry & C.J.Cleveland. National Council for Science and the Environment. Washington DC.
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- The Gulf of Riga Estonica