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Chesapeake Bay

Coordinates: 37°48′N 76°06′W / 37.8°N 76.1°W / 37.8; -76.1
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Chesapeake Bay
The Chesapeake Bay – Landsat satellite image
Chesapeake Bay Watershed - extends north/east/west into six adjoining American states - Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New York state, plus the federal capital city of Washington in the District of Columbia.
Chesapeake Bay is located in Virginia
Chesapeake Bay
Chesapeake Bay
LocationMaryland, Virginia
Coordinates37°48′N 76°06′W / 37.8°N 76.1°W / 37.8; -76.1
EtymologyChesepiooc, Algonquian for village "at a big river"
Primary inflowsSusquehanna River mouth
east of Havre de Grace, Maryland
River sourcesDeer Creek,
Bush River,
Gunpowder River,
Back River,
Patapsco River,
Severn River,
Patuxent River,
Potomac River,
Rappahannock River,
York River,
James River, Chester River, Choptank River, Nanticoke River, Pocomoke River
Primary outflowsAtlantic Ocean
north of Virginia Beach, Virginia
36°59′45″N 75°57′34″W / 36.99583°N 75.95944°W / 36.99583; -75.95944
Catchment area64,299 sq mi (166,530 km2)
Basin countriesUnited States
Max. length200 mi (320 km)
Max. width30 mi (48 km)
Surface area4,479 sq mi (11,600 km2)
Average depth21 ft (6.4 m)
Residence time180 days [note 1]
SettlementsAnnapolis, Baltimore, Cambridge, Cape Charles, Chesapeake, Chesapeake Beach, Elkton, Hampton, Havre de Grace, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach
Official nameChesapeake Bay Estuarine Complex
Designated4 June 1987
Reference no.375[2]

The Chesapeake Bay (pronounced /'tʃɛsəpi:k/) is the largest estuary in the United States.[3] It lies off the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. The bay's watershed covers 64,299 square miles (166,534 km2) in the District of Columbia and parts of six states: New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.[3] More than 150 rivers and streams drain into it.

The Chesapeake Bay is about 200 miles (300 km) long, from the Susquehanna River in the north to the Atlantic Ocean. At its narrowest point between Kent County's Plum Point (near Newtown) and the Harford County shore near Romney Creek, the bay isabout 2.8 miles (4.5 km) wide. At the widest location, it is 30 miles (50 km) wide. The bay is 46 feet (14 m) deep on average.

The bay has two bridges over it. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge crosses the bay in Maryland from Sandy Point (near Annapolis) to Kent Island. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel in Virginia connects Virginia Beach to Cape Charles.

Notes[change | change source]

  1. Residence time ranges from 110 to 264 days with an average of 180 days based on circulation in the years 1980 to 2012.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. Du, Jiabi; Shen, Jian (2016). "Water residence time in Chesapeake Bay for 1980–2012". Journal of Marine Systems. 164. Elsevier BV: 101–111. Bibcode:2016JMS...164..101D. doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2016.08.011. ISSN 0924-7963.
  2. "Chesapeake Bay Estuarine Complex". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Fact Sheet 102-98 - The Chesapeake Bay: Geologic Product of Rising Sea Level". U. S. Geological Survey. 1998-11-18. Retrieved 2008-01-13.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Chesapeake Bay at Wikimedia Commons