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An inland sea (also known as an epeiric sea or an epicontinental sea) is a shallow
sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
sea
that covers central areas of continents during periods of high
sea level Mean sea level (MSL) (often shortened to sea level) is an average In colloquial, ordinary language, an average is a single number taken as representative of a list of numbers, usually the sum of the numbers divided by how many numbers are in th ...

sea level
that result in
marine transgression A marine transgression is a geology, geologic event during which sea level rises relative to the land and the shoreline moves toward higher ground, which results in flooding. Transgressions can be caused by the land sinking or by the ocean basins ...
s. In modern times, continents stand high, eustatic sea levels are low, and there are few inland seas, the largest being
Hudson Bay Hudson Bay ( iu, text=ᑲᖏᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓗᐊ, translit=Kangiqsualuk ilua or iu, text=ᑕᓯᐅᔭᕐᔪᐊᖅ, translit=Tasiujarjuaq; french: baie d'Hudson), sometimes called Hudson's Bay (usually historically), is a large body of sal ...
. Modern examples might also include the recently (less than 10,000 years ago) reflooded
Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of , ) is a in . The body of water is an extension of the () through the and lies between to the northeast and the to the southwest.United Nations Group of Exper ...
, and the
South China Sea The South China Sea is a marginal sea This is a list of seas of the World Ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of Saline water, salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97 ...

South China Sea
that presently covers the
Sunda Shelf Geologically Geology (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into t ...

Sunda Shelf
.


Modern inland seas

*The
Marmara Sea
Marmara Sea
located in modern-day
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
is surrounded by land all around, except where it connects the two
Turkish Straits 300px, View of the Dardanelles, taken from the Landsat 7 satellite in September 2006. The body of water at the upper left is the Aegean Sea, while the one on the upper right is the Sea of Marmara. The long, narrow upper peninsula is Gallipoli ...
,
the Bosphorus File:Bosphorus aerial view.jpg, Aerial view of the Bosporus taken from its northern end near the Black Sea (bottom), looking south (top) toward the Marmara Sea, with the city center of Istanbul visible along the strait's hilly banks. The Bosp ...

the Bosphorus
and the Dardanelles. * * *The
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the Atlantic Ocean, enclosed by Denmark Denmark ( da, Danmark, ) is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that a ...

Baltic Sea
is a
brackish Brackish water, also sometimes termed brack water, is water occurring in a natural environment having more salinity than freshwater, but not as much as seawater. It may result from mixing seawater (salt water) with fresh water together, as in estu ...
inland sea, arguably the largest body of brackish water in the world. Other possibilities include the
White Sea The White Sea (russian: Белое море, ''Béloye móre''; Karelian language, Karelian and fi, Vienanmeri, lit. Dvina Sea; yrk, Сэрако ямʼ, ''Serako yam'') is a southern inlet of the Barents Sea located on the northwest coast of ...
and the northern half of the
Black Sea , with the skyline of Batumi Batumi (; ka, ბათუმი ) is the second largest city of Georgia Georgia usually refers to: * Georgia (country) Georgia ( ka, საქართველო; ''Sakartvelo''; ) is a country locat ...

Black Sea
(its deep southern basin is a closed-off relic of the now-vanished
Tethys Sea 250px, First phase of the Tethys Ocean's forming: the (first) Tethys Sea starts dividing Pangaea into two supercontinents, Laurasia and Gondwana">Laurasia.html" ;"title="Pangaea into two supercontinents, Laurasia">Pangaea into two supercontinents, ...
). The origin of the Baltic Sea basin is not clear as there are differing views on the role of erosion and tectonics. *The
Argentine sea The Argentine Sea ( es, Mar Argentino) is the name given to the sea within the continental shelf A continental shelf is a portion of a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm) ...
ranges from the mouth of the
Río de la Plata The Río de la Plata (, "river of silver"), called River Plate in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in H ...

Río de la Plata
estuary to the north (parallel 35º South) to the
Isla de los Estados Isla de los Estados (English: Staten Island, from the Dutch ''Stateneiland'') is an Argentina, Argentine island that lies off the eastern extremity of Tierra del Fuego, from which it is separated by the Le Maire Strait. It was named after the Est ...

Isla de los Estados
to the south, and from the Argentine coast to the 200-meter deep isobath that includes the
Falklands Islands The Falkland Islands (; es, Islas Malvinas, ) is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scatt ...

Falklands Islands
. *
Hudson Bay Hudson Bay ( iu, text=ᑲᖏᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓗᐊ, translit=Kangiqsualuk ilua or iu, text=ᑕᓯᐅᔭᕐᔪᐊᖅ, translit=Tasiujarjuaq; french: baie d'Hudson), sometimes called Hudson's Bay (usually historically), is a large body of sal ...
, including
James Bay James Bay (french: Baie James, cr, ᐐᓂᐯᒄ Wînipekw meaning ''Dirty Water'') is a large body of water located on the southern end of Hudson Bay in Canada. Both bodies of water extend from the Arctic Ocean, of which James Bay is the southe ...
at its southern end, reaches within the
North American continent North America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

North American continent
from
Baffin Island Baffin Island ( iu, ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᒃ, , french: Île de Baffin, Terre de Baffin, formerly Baffin Land), in the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian territory of Nunavut, is the list of Canadian islands by area, largest island in Cana ...

Baffin Island
,
Nunavut Nunavut ( ) ( iu, ᓄᓇᕗᑦ) is the newest, largest, and northernmost territory of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories exten ...
in the north to
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
,
Ontario ("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , cap ...

Ontario
and
Manitoba Manitoba ( ) is a Provinces and territories of Canada, province of Canada at the Centre of Canada, longitudinal centre of the country. It is Canada's Population of Canada by province and territory, fifth-most populous province, with a population o ...

Manitoba
in the south. The bay shares some similarities with the
Gulf of Bothnia , showing the Gulf of Bothnia in the upper half Image:Scandinavia M2002074 lrg.jpg, Satellite image of Fennoscandia in winter. The northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia, the Bothnian Bay, is covered with sea ice. The Gulf of Bothnia (; fi, Pohja ...

Gulf of Bothnia
in
Fennoscandia __NOTOC__ Fennoscandia (Finnish Finnish may refer to: * Something or someone from, or related to Finland * Finnish culture * Finnish people or Finns, the primary ethnic group in Finland * Finnish language, the national language of the Finnish peop ...

Fennoscandia
; it lies in the middle of a
shield A shield is a piece of personal armour held in the hand, which may or may not be strapped to the wrist or forearm. Shields are used to intercept specific attacks, whether from melee weapon, close-ranged weaponry or projectiles such as arrows, ...
and it was the centre of an
ice sheet In , an ice sheet, also known as a continental glacier, is a mass of that covers surrounding terrain and is greater than . The only current ice sheets are in and ; during the at (LGM) the covered much of , the ice sheet covered and the c ...

ice sheet
during the Quaternary glaciations. However, the origin of both depressions is unrelated to glacier erosion. * The
Seto Inland Sea The , sometimes shortened to the Inland Sea, is the body of water separating Honshū , historically called , is the largest and most populous main island of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag ...

Seto Inland Sea
in Japan is not a true inland sea but rather a body of water separating
Honshū , historically called , is the largest and most populous main island of Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, ...
,
Shikoku is one of the five main islands of Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an in . It is situated in the northwest , and is bordered on the west by the , while extending from the in the north toward the and in the sout ...

Shikoku
, and
Kyūshū is the third largest island of Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an in . It is situated in the northwest , and is bordered on the west by the , while extending from the in the north toward the and in the south. Japa ...
, three of the four main islands of
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
. * The
Caspian Sea The Caspian Sea (also known as Mazandaran Sea, Hyrcanian Ocean, or Khazar Sea), tk, Hazar deňzi, az, Xəzər Dənizi, russian: Каспийское море, script=Latn, fa, دریای مازندران، دریای خزر, script=Latn, tly, ...

Caspian Sea
is a very large, inland body of water at least hundreds of miles from the nearest part of the
World Ocean The ocean (also the sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.Persian Gulf The Persian Gulf ( fa, خلیج فارس, translit=xalij-e fârs, lit=Gulf of , ) is a in . The body of water is an extension of the () through the and lies between to the northeast and the to the southwest.United Nations Group of Exper ...
and has some characteristics of the sea, like being composed of at least a good portion of saltwater. However, it is also considered the largest lake in the world.


Former epicontinental seas in Earth's history

At various times in the geologic past, inland seas have been greater in extent and more common than at present. *During the
Oligocene The Oligocene ( ) is a geologic epoch (geology), epoch of the Paleogene Geologic time scale, Period and extends from about 33.9 million to 23 million years before the present ( to ). As with other older geologic periods, the rock beds that define ...
and
Early Miocene The Early Miocene (also known as Lower Miocene) is a sub-epoch of the Miocene epoch (geology), Epoch made up of two faunal stage, stages: the Aquitanian age, Aquitanian and Burdigalian stages. The sub-epoch lasted from 23.03 ± 0.05 annum, Ma to ...
large swathes of
Patagonia Patagonia () refers to a geographical region that encompasses the southern end of South America South America is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convent ...

Patagonia
were subject to a
marine transgression A marine transgression is a geology, geologic event during which sea level rises relative to the land and the shoreline moves toward higher ground, which results in flooding. Transgressions can be caused by the land sinking or by the ocean basins ...
. The transgression might have temporarily linked the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, as inferred from the findings of marine invertebrate fossils of both Atlantic and Pacific affinity in La Cascada Formation. Connection would have occurred through narrow epicontinental seaways that formed channels in a dissected topography. *A vast inland sea, the
Western Interior Seaway The Western Interior Seaway (also called the Cretaceous Seaway, the Niobraran Sea, the North American Inland Sea, and the Western Interior Sea) was a large inland sea Inland may refer to: Places Sweden * Inland Fräkne Hundred, a hundred of Bohus ...
, extended from the
Gulf of Mexico The Gulf of Mexico ( es, Golfo de México) is an ocean basin 400px, Diagrammatic cross-section of an ocean basin, showing the various geographic features In hydrology Hydrology (from Greek: wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning ...

Gulf of Mexico
deep into present-day
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

Canada
during the Cretaceous. *At the same time, much of the low plains of modern-day northern France and northern Germany were inundated by an inland sea, where the chalk was deposited that gave the
Cretaceous The Cretaceous ( ) is a geological period A geological period is one of the several subdivisions of geologic time enabling cross-referencing of rocks and geologic events from place to place. These periods form elements of a hierarchy of division ...

Cretaceous
Period its name. *The
Amazon Amazon usually refers to: * Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of ancient Greek, ancient epic poems and legends, such as the ...

Amazon
, originally emptying into the Pacific, as South America rifted from Africa, found its exit blocked by the rise of the Andes about 15 million years ago. A great inland sea developed, at times draining north through what is now
Venezuela Venezuela (; ), officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ( es, link=no, República Bolivariana de Venezuela), is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continent A continent is any of several large l ...

Venezuela
before finding its present eastward outlet into the South Atlantic. Gradually this inland sea became a vast freshwater lake and wetlands where sediment flattened its profiles and the marine inhabitants adapted to life in freshwater. Over 20 species of
stingray Stingrays are a group of sea rays, which are cartilaginous fish Chondrichthyes (; from Greek χονδρ- 'cartilage', ἰχθύς 'fish') is a class that contains the cartilaginous fishes that have skeletons primarily composed of cartil ...

stingray
, most closely related to those found in the Pacific Ocean, can be found today in the freshwaters of the Amazon, which is also home to a . In 2005, fossilized remains of a giant
crocodilian Crocodilia (or Crocodylia, both ) is an order Order or ORDER or Orders may refer to: * Orderliness Orderliness is associated with other qualities such as cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, ...
, estimated to have been in length, were discovered in the northern rainforest of Amazonian
Peru , , image_flag = Flag_of_Peru.svg , image_coat = Escudo_nacional_del_Perú.svg , other_symbol = Great Seal of the State , other_symbol_type = Seal (device), National seal , national_mott ...

Peru
. *In Australia, the Eromanga Sea existed during the Cretaceous Period. It covered large swaths of the eastern half of the continent.


See also

* * *


Notes


References


External links


Geology Project - Inland Sea Movement Through Time
{{DEFAULTSORT:Inland sea Historical geology
Bodies of water {{See also, Limnology Compare to :Landforms and :Wetlands Bodies of water may exist within land areas or within other bodies of water and may be natural, man-made or a combination. Water Physical geography Hydrography Natural resources, +Water A ...
tg:Баҳри дохилӣ